Today, during the keynote for the Microsoft Build conference in San Francisco, the company announced the preview version for Windows 8.1 (download the preview here
). As a point upgrade to Windows 8
, there are few sweeping changes to the operating system, but Microsoft has thankfully made some tweaks to the interface, along with upgraded apps and other enhancements that users will appreciate. But it's important to note that if you were hoping for a return to a Windows 7 layout, you're going to be disappointed; Microsoft is sticking to its guns on the Modern UI (the tiled Start screen interface), and you'll still be using it as your main launching point. With that said, Microsoft has added a few features that make it a bit more palatable to keyboard-and-mouse Windows desktop users.
In developing Windows 8.1, Microsoft says it listened to feedback from users and tried to solve the problems people were having with the new interface. In our time with the updated OS, we think the company has done a good job on a lot of fronts and has added a lot more to like, but we suspect that some people will still find the OS' reliance on touch off-putting.