Microsoft has announced during a presentation that the upcoming update for Windows 8.1 should make the operating system more suitable for use on devices that do not have a touchscreen. The OS should also support more hardware.
That’s what Microsoft CEO Joe Belfiore said during a presentation ahead of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, TechCrunch reports. According to the CEO, in the update for Windows 8.1, the focus is on making it easier to operate without a touchscreen.
Specific details were not disclosed, but the OS would become more user-friendly for mouse and keyboard operation. Users complained that Microsoft focused too much on touchscreen devices with Windows 8. Belfiore states that the innovations are not at the expense of the ‘touch experience’ on Windows 8.
Earlier, a version of the Windows 8.1 update appeared on file sharing networks. As a result, some features that will appear in the update were already known. Microsoft is rumored to be planning to officially release the Windows 8.1 update in March.
The update would include a title bar for Modern UI apps that let users minimize and maximize apps. Also, apps from the Windows Store can now be pinned to the taskbar in the regular Windows desktop environment. Now the new interface and the classic desktop interface are quite strictly separated. Another major change would be that Windows boots to the desktop environment by default if no touchscreen is present. According to other rumors, the update for Windows 8.1 would improve performance.
Also, the update for Windows 8.1 should support a wider variety of hardware. Again, no further details were revealed. Belfiore also confirmed that the start button will return, although it is unclear what this means: there is already a start button in Windows 8.1. The search function also gets improvements in the update. According to Belfiore, the software update will be released this spring, but a specific release date is still unknown.
During the MWC presentation, Microsoft also announced that it has now sold 200 million Windows 8 licenses, a year and a half after its introduction. Windows 7 sold 450 million copies in its first two years.