Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 update is now available to download. Windows 8 users will see a notification in the Windows Store with a prompt to upgrade to the new operating system. Microsoft has added a number of improvements with this update, including built-in Bing search, smart SkyDrive syncing, and visual changes to the Start Screen and application snapping. For a full overview of all the features see our Windows 8.1 review.
If you’re an existing Windows 8 user then moving to 8.1 should be relatively pain free. The update will retain all desktop and Windows 8-style apps, including files and settings. It’s worth backing up just in case, but it should be like any other patch through Windows Update that Microsoft supplies on a monthly basis. Windows 8.1 Preview users will have a slightly different experience depending on how the Preview was originally installed. If you installed Windows 8.1 Preview from the Windows Store on top of Windows 8 then you can move straight to the final edition in the Store today. Personal files will be retained, but apps will need to be reinstalled.
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