Screenshots: New Windows 8.1 features

Windows Store

This gallery is also available as a TechRepublic article.

Note: After you install Windows 8.1, you will be asked to sign in to a Microsoft Live account. There will be no apparent way to move past that screen if your intention is to only have a local account. Here is the trick: Click the Create New Account link and then at the bottom of that next screen you will see a link that will let you cancel the process. You will then login using your local account.

As of October 17, 2013, Microsoft Windows 8.1 is available as a downloadable update for Windows 8 users. The retail box version of the operating system hit the market on October 18, 2013. For those of us using Windows 8, the new features and subtle changes of 8.1 are very welcome. I can say unequivocally, if you have a computer running Windows 8, you want to upgrade to 8.1.

Before you begin your download

I know you will be tempted to start your Windows 8.1 download right away, but there are few things to do in preparation before you begin the process:

  • Make sure you have updated your copy of Windows 8 by running Windows Update.
  • Make sure you are logged in as the account administrator.
  • Make sure you have allocated a couple of hours to the project - it will likely take less time than that, but you can never be sure.
  • Just to be safe, you might have you activation code for Windows 8 close by.


If you have a retail version of Windows 8, you can update to 8.1 by going to the Store from the Start Screen - the first item you should see is a large Windows 8.1 download icon (Figure A).

Credit: Images by Mark Kaelin for TechRepublic

By Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to,, and TechRepublic.