In June, Microsoft finally unveiled the much anticipated Windows Blue update, which turned out to be Windows 8.1.  The software giant showcased a number of new or returning features on Windows 8.1, such as the return of the Start button, the Start Screen and Lock screen customization, Bing search integration, and other little trinkets for both the tablet and desktop versions.

As with everything, before it gets finally released, some areas are improved, some things removed, and other features added.

Windows 8.1 X 64 Pro Build 9471,  a test version of the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build, showed off some improvements and disappointments.

First-time user friendly


There’s a new Metro Help & Tips app that features six tiled guides: Start and apps, Get around, Basic actions, Your account and files, Settings, and What’s new.  All six categories aim to help first-time users get around Windows 8.1.  Presumably, this would allow users to better utilize all the awesome features of Windows 8.1.  It has video tutorials plus you can search topics if you can’t find what you are looking for.  But since it’s still not the final version, this app is still buggy and those that have tried it stated that queries came back with unrelated results.  Let’s hope the app gets ironed out before the final release.

SkyDrive all the way

This may be the worst part of Windows 8.1, as Microsoft chose to designate the SkyDrive Documents folder as the default save location for everything in the Documents Library. Which means if you save or drag files to your Documents, it will automatically be saved on SkyDrive, which ultimately spells money for Microsoft since the cloud storage service has a fee.

As to why Microsoft decided to ditch the local library feature, it’s a simple matter of monetization.  Microsoft doesn’t make anything when people store documents in their libraries, so why not make them pay for a service to store their files?  Let’s just hope Microsoft chucks this to the side and let consumers be the one to decide whether they want a SkyDrive account or not.

Windows 8.1 Now First-time User Friendly

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Windows 8.1 downloads tipped for mid-October