Microsoft kicked off its TechEd 2013 conference in New Orleans this morning–revealing a comprehensive overhaul of many of its products and services. One of the focuses of the TechEd 2013 keynote were new features of the upcoming Windows 8.1 aimed at making it a better OS for businesses, and giving IT admins more ability to control the Windows 8 experience. In just a few short weeks, the public preview of Windows 8.1 will be available and you can see for yourself.

A Windows for Your Business blog post states that June 26 is the big day. The Windows 8.1 preview will be available, and we’ll get our first official look at the new Windows 8–codenamed “Windows Blue”.

With previous versions of Windows, the features and updates in Windows 8.1 would have been delivered as a service pack. It’s an established practice to wait for the first service pack–SP1–before adopting a new Microsoft OS in order to allow time for Microsoft to work out the kinks and tweak the operating system. It’s as if the original release of a new version of Windows is really just a prolonged public beta, and the real release comes when SP1 is available.

Microsoft is trying to drive a culture shift, though, with Windows 8. I talked in a recent article about the how and why behind Microsoft making this a major OS release of its own rather than calling it a service pack. The scope and impact of Windows 8.1 is essentially the same as a Windows 8 SP1 would have been, but Microsoft also wants to shift the mindset of its customers and get the massive Windows audience to embrace frequent updates rather than stubbornly continuing to use an archaic platform (*cough* Windows XP).

After having spent an extensive amount of time using Windows 8, I came up with my own list of the top five things Microsoft should fix with Windows 8.1 to make the operating system more appealing. It seems that most of the items I listed are addressed in some way with Windows 8.1. I’m looking forward to downloading the public preview and finding out firsthand if Windows 8.1 can really alter the general perception of the new OS.

About the Author

I’m a Houston-based independent analyst, marketing consultant and writer. I follow news and trends across all facets of technology, and help people understand how the changing tech landscape affects them. I work with businesses to identify market opportunities and develop effective content marketing strategies to take advantage of them. I’ve worked in the trenches as an information security consultant, an IT manager and a marketing executive. That real world experience gives me a unique point of view that lets me see things from the business perspective. I’ve been a CISSP for 13 years, and I’ve been recognized by Microsoft as an MVP for 8 consecutive years. When I’m not working with technology, I’m a husband and father who loves mountains, oceans, football and golf. You can contact me directly at [email protected] For more from me, you can follow me on Twitter, subscribe to me on Facebook or add me to your Circles on Google+.

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  • shle896

    Their problem is – they try too hard. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Windows 7 was their best OS yet, while Windows 8 (obviously) has gone over like a lead balloon. I’m over it and planning on buying a Chromebook. I just want something that works well, is simple and gets the job done. I feel like it’s a full-time job keeping up with Microsoft and all of their OS versions and updates, etc.

    • DCJason

      So you’re saying you are not interested in a touch-screen ability? (Have you gone to a Windows store and tried it?) You don’t see any advantage of having access to the same apps on your computer, as you may have on your phone? You don’t see the advantage of having BOTH of these features on a laptop where you can do work/business AND have social functions?
      I don’t understand why an automatic download becomes ‘a full-time job’. And how does the third most popular (Win 8) operating system constitutes (in your mind) “like a lead balloon”?

      And you think your Chromebook can do everything your Win 7 can do? And any file you create in your Chromebook is going to be compatible with the rest of the world using Microsoft Office? I’m working in a company that uses Google docs and there are all kinds of formatting issues with Google docs and with Microsoft Office. It would be SO much better if we were using Office 365 so we have a full function application and no formatting or capability issues with our outside vendors.

      • Luke

        I agree with you DCJason, I think Windows 8.1 is going be awesome!
        I am one of those archaic people who still own a desktop.. gasp! What can I say, I play PC games 🙂
        Anyway, I loaded Win 8 onto it and it is like brand new again, even though the processor is still one of the original i7s from Intel.
        Didn’t have to upgrade any of the hardware at all and Win 8 even found all of my device drivers for me.
        If Win 8.1 is better than Win 8 RTM, then you can be sure I will be getting me one of those Surface tablets to complement my desktop.
        Just my two cents worth. 🙂

  • Mohammmad

    Windows 8.1 will be GREAT…
    I think Microsoft will Surprise everyone in the build developer conference.

    • Luke

      If they do, I’ll be getting me one of those Surface 2s that are supposed to be revealed. 🙂