Microsoft released Windows 8.1 on October 17, about a year after bringing Windows 8 to marker with mixed reviews. The new release promises improved flexibility, mobility, security and networking solutions across multiple devices.

Windows 8.1 update will have a button in the bottom left corner of the screen that acts like the "start" button in previous versions of Windows. Although it will not be labeled ‘start’, it features the Windows logo and takes the user straight to a grid of applications.

Windows 8.1 also includes a vastly improved ‘search’ function, which allows a user to search for documents, apps, or items on the Internet from a single search bar, like a souped-up version of Apple Inc's Spotlight feature.

It also allows users to see all their applications immediately in a grid by swiping down or pressing a button on-screen, which should make it easy for unfamiliar users to get to the app they want quickly.
Users can also customize the start screen much more easily, changing sizes of app icon ‘tiles ‘or controlling which apps appear. For the first time, it will be possible to open two windows simultaneously in the new-look interface.

Windows 8.1 includes Microsoft's latest browser, Internet Explorer 11, and lets the user restore the address bar and tabs to the screen view. That feature was missing in the initial version of Windows 8, which was designed to make the most of limited screen space on a tablet but tended to disorient traditional mouse and keyboard users.

Users will also no longer have to switch to the old desktop view to make changes in their default settings. However, they will still have to switch back to a traditional desktop set-up to use some programs such as Word or Excel, which have not been redesigned to function in the new Windows 8 style.