Microsoft on Thursday released 8.1, an updated version of its beleaguered Windows 8 operating system, and it has garnered many positive reviews.
While the update is nowhere near as radical as the overhaul Microsoft gave Windows a year ago, it addresses a number of complaints from consumers.
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First off, the start button — eliminated from Windows 8 — is back. The most positive change, reviewers say, is the "snap view" feature, which allows multiple apps to run on the screen at the same time.
“Windows 8.1 will let you run up to eight apps side by side — up from just two in Windows 8,” wrote CNN’s Adrian Covert.
“Unlike Windows 8, which ran the second app in snap view as a more limited widget in a small strip of the screen, Windows 8.1 lets users decide how much space each app takes up on the screen – half? A third? Your call!”
Peter Bright of ARS Technia
wrote that the latest version is “a surprisingly substantial update to Windows. It rounds off many of Windows 8’s rough edges, providing a more coherent, better designed working environment.”
Harry McCracken of Time magazine wrote
, “The single most significant thing about 8.1 may be the way it deeply embeds multiple Microsoft products – like SkyDrive, Bing and Xbox – into the Windows experience. They’re there as services that help nudge Windows, one of the world’s most venerable pieces of conventional software, further into the cloud.”
Not everyone is a fan, however. While The New York Times' Gadget Guru David Pogue
wrote a generally positive review in print, he slammed the update on a video, calling it putting lipstick on a pig. He said that Microsoft should stop trying to force a tablet into laptop computers.
Pogue's post prompted Microsoft’s head of communications, Frank X. Shaw, to fire back on Twitter.
“Dear David Pogue, what a classic Pogue piece. Funny, inaccurate, opinionated in the skewed way only you could bring,” he tweeted.
Reviews on Twitter also were generally positive.
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