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New Windows RT 8.1 Analysis Sheds Light On Several Improvements

While several builds of Windows 8.1 have leaked over the past few months providing us glimpses of what the future of the standard Windows could look like, details on a new Windows RT have been scarce.

Nevertheless, Redmond has made clear that the tablet version of its operating system is also in line to receive a number of changes and enhancements.

Justin Angel has put one of the leaked builds under the microscope, and discovered some of the feature that the software titan is currently implementing in its flagship operating system. And needless to say, the findings are as surprising as they are exciting.

The comprehensive article details a number of features that are set to be implemented across the board, but Windows RT 8.1 in particular will come with Bluetooth 4.0 support, along with options for barcode scanners and magnetic card readers.

Additionally, the tablet operating system is said to pack the same lock screen image apps and Metro tools that are found on the desktop builds. New tools like a dedicated file manager also make the cut.

Read-write access to the camera roll, saved pictures and playlists will also be available:

“The KnownFolders class provides WinRT apps access to many windows folders such as music, pictures, documents and others. In Win8.1 The list of accessible folders expanded to contain the playlists folders, saved pictures and camera roll. That indicates that Metro Win8.1 apps can read and write from those folders.”

One of the most requested features is also getting polished — VPN support for Metro apps. Many users have complained that existing VPN capabilities of the operating system are, shall we say, limited:

“It’s great to see Microsoft adding a whole new Windows.Networking.vpn namespace to help deal with VPNs in WinRT apps. The new VPN API featureset is fundamentally about sending encrypted packets. It also supports VPN routing (what goes in the VPN connection and what doesn’t), multiple VPN authentication methods (username, password, pin, smart card, credentials and more) and support for VPN namespaces.”

This detailed analysis brings to light a wide array of improvements, all of which seem like they could be a part of the Windows platform by the end of the year.

Microsoft sure was right in declaring that Windows Blue was more than a service pack.

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