If there was worldwide body for this, it would gladly have labeled the first day of BUILD 2014 a certified success. Heck, even if Microsoft announces nothing today, the event is already a triumphant victory.

Redmond both surprised and wowed yesterday, making several big announcements and even bigger unveils — Windows Phone 8.1, Cortana, Windows 8.1 Update, the return of the Start Menu, two new mobile hardware partners, and much more.

And now the company has published a short video on YouTube that provides a look at the features included in Windows 8.1 Update, highlighting the improvements made to the operating system.

Watch the clip here:

Joe Belfiore is the man!

As the video highlights, Microsoft wants to keep its flagship platform familiar to everyone, and this new refresh delivers a small (yet useful) collection of refinements aimed at making the UI more familiar and convenient for users, particularly keyboard and mouse desktop users.

Start Screen is now easier to use for mouse users, Metro apps can be pinned to the taskbar for quicker, more accessible launch, and tiles can be managed using the regular context menu.

The update is already available for MSDN and TechNet subscribers, and Microsoft will ship it free to charge to all Windows 8.1 users on April 8, along with other Patch Tuesday updates for the month.

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  • Emily W

    Man, Joe Belifore looks like a dark haired David Spade. Lol. I do think adding a video to show the changes is smart though.

  • Ray C

    The PC Settings tile and an All Apps tile or button should have been there from day 1. Anything that you see as soon as you click on the start menu or boot into desktop should have been on the start screen. But no use crying over spilled milk. This is another good update to Windows 8. If people still don’t want to switch now, they were always going to find an excuse not to switch, or they’ve actually switched and feel the need to bash Microsoft products to others.

    • Ted Smith

      I agree with you whole-heartedly, Ray. At least at this point they’ve fixed their mistakes and have been open to listening to customers. That is the most important thing.

  • Bill Franklin

    Videos like this go a long way. Easy and cheap to make, and help the consumer in a simple way. I love this. Thank you, Microsoft.

  • Sally Black

    Emily, that made me chuckle! Thank you for that. He does sort of remind me of Spade. I do like the demonstration also!

  • Jake

    A little off topic, but I love that background on the computer there! The interface and everything else looks so spectacular!

  • Wayne S

    All this video does is make me want the update more! 5 days isn’t too far away, I guess. Should be outstanding.

  • Michael

    Returning features from Windows 7 how new and kind of you. Can’t wait for the NEW “Start Menu” to come back from Windows 7. Has anyone noticed that Windows 8.11 is starting to look like Gnome? Just saying.

    • Jason Deveau

      Not seeing the resemblance.
      Besides that it uses icons.

  • Jason Deveau