Everything you need to know about the Windows 8.1 release

Unless you have been involved in the U.S. Congress trying to almost screw up the entire country, you know that today is the day that Microsoft tries to bring back Windows users with Windows 8.1. Here's a quick way to learn more about this free (for Windows 8) update that has a bunch of new features and improvements.

Windows 8.1 available to download now - Windows 8 users can download the free update to Windows 8.1 in the Windows Store, while Windows XP, Vista and 7 users can purchase and download the update now or wait until Friday to get the retail disc copy.

Microsoft to hold a Reddit AMA and more to promote Windows 8.1 today - Windows team members will participate in a Reddit AMA session today to discuss Windows 8.1, followed by a Twitter chat. There's also a related contest for U.S residents.

Review of Windows 8.1 - Neowin's Brad Sams offers up our official verdict of Windows 8.1. Is this update, released less than a year after the launch of Windows 8, a big improvement or more of the same?  You will have to read our review to find out what we really think.

Official Facebook Windows 8.1 app now in Windows Store  - The biggest third party app release for the Windows 8.1 launch belongs to the long awaited official Facebook app.The first version of the app appears to have a layout that's very similar to its web browser counterpart.

Core App Updates now available for Windows 8.1  - Microsoft has updated most of its in-house developed core apps for the Windows 8.1 launch, including many that are exclusive to the OS update. Some get major updates while others just receive minor changes.

You can also check out our Windows forum if you have any questions about the upgrade, and also check out some helpful tips and FAQ's that members have posted. Also check out our contest to win a Tier 2 subscription worth $28 USD

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I had no idea so much would change and revert back to default settings from upgrading. I should have prepared myself.

Well, I downloaded it just fine from the Store and installed it. With the exception of it breaking Poser 9 and Carrara 8.5, it seems to be ok... but breaking formerly working programs is a big, BIG problem in my mind. It tells me Microsoft didn't really allow full testing of the OS before release, or changed things right before release which weren't relayed to companies in order to ensure their software would work right.

I would say it's more likely those companies just haven't completed testing their updates. If stability is your primary concern, you should never install a major OS update on day 1.

Then you've already forgotten the articles they had here on Neowin about how programmers were not going to get access to the RTM copy of Windows 8.1 until the rest of the world was going to get it?

And how Microsoft only relented a month ago to provide that to the MSDN and TechNet folks?

I'm sure we'll here more about other software packages breaking under Windows 8.1... fortunately, I can downgrade back to Windows 8, or even Windows 7 if needed.

Anyone's download from the store going REALLY slow? Crawling....
Anyway to download from Microsoft website or find the ISO file... looking to get it installed on my Surface Pro....

So is there a way to install the update without using the Microsoft store.... I have a customers machine i'm installing 8.1 on from the microsoft store that he just bought today. I have another one coming shortly a woman just bought, I do not want to have to update via the store all over again on her computer. This is adding about 2 hours of my time a PC is on my repair table. They aren't getting charged for it, but still.

Spicoli said,
I didn't even know you could pin sites. Can you pin a site on the start screen from the desktop browser?

Yeah, you could always pin sites (from both MetroUI and desktop)... but now if the site has enabled notifications/rss feeds... it'll show a live tile as well!... so awesome

Spicoli said,
I was just playing with it. I don't see a way to get a site on the desktop IE onto the start screen. I can only drag it down the task bar.

You simply go to the website you want pinned, and then click the Settings button in the top right beside Favorites, then "Add site to Start Screen" (5th option down).... they should relabel that as "Pin to Start Screen"

I ran into one issue with the network not working. I had to go in the Hyper-V manager and delete the virtual switch. This probably would only impact people with the Windows Phone SDK installed.

calimike said,
why is downloading so slow? how much of MB used?

Almost 4Gb of data, downloaded by god knows how many people = slowly dying servers and connections. ;-)

What do you do when the computer reboots and 0xc0000225 error is reported?
And then you press "Enter" to try again, as it suggests, and 0xc000014c error is reported?

This is "everything you need to know", right?

abecedarian paradoxious said,
What do you do when the computer reboots and 0xc0000225 error is reported?
And then you press "Enter" to try again, as it suggests, and 0xc000014c error is reported?

This is "everything you need to know", right?

Well, a few hours on the phone with MS, getting my installation keys then downloading and burning physical media for Win8, repairing that install, then installing the 8.1 upgrade from the store solved my issues.

abecedarian paradoxious said,
downloading and burning physical media for Win8

I don't imagine you have or can share a link to that download? I bought the retail version of 8 Pro when it was $60 or so, never installed it on any machine I have and have never used the key (I have a Surface Pro and still use a mix of XP/7/2008/2012 on other machines). When I do get around to installing it, I'm hoping I can use some ISO, rather than install it from my original DVD then go through the hassle of re-downloading a few GB yet again to do an in-place upgrade.

Hello,

Thanks for the news and Im sure many are upgrading as we speak but about the article is the first sentence:

Unless you have been involved in the U.S. Congress trying to almost screw up the entire country

really neccessary? I dont know. Seems completely offtopic and nonrelevent.

Well Im glad 8.1 is out

riahc3 said,
Hello,

Thanks for the news and Im sure many are upgrading as we speak but about the article is the first sentence:

really neccessary? I dont know. Seems completely offtopic and nonrelevent.

Well Im glad 8.1 is out

Here's three guaranteed methods to spot an article from Callaham, even without seeing the author name:
- Irrelevant one-liners like this one
- Liberal and incorrect use of the word "admit"
- The incessant use of the word "rumor"

My own prose is far from perfect--English isn't my native language--but if I earned a living writing, I'd make an effort not to sound so repetitive in every article I wrote...getting myself a thesaurus might be a good starting point. I never set out to focus on him in particular, but his writing style stands out in this way on this site, and manages to get under my skin each and every time.

I'm not just saying this to bitch either--it's called constructive criticism; I'm pointing out where the flaws are and how to go about improving his writing. But I'm guessing he either doesn't read responses to his articles, or ignores it. I wish him well, I really do. We could all benefit from having better writers.

Something must have changed because now i have none "windows apps" tiles with orange, red, green, purple backgrounds, it looks horrific.

I keep getting an error that the update wasn't installed...this is the error I get after about getting 65% downloaded...error 0x80240031

I've tried about 10 times now this morning and get the same error every single time. I've rebooted my machine, I don't have any fancy firewalls or antivirus, just stock windows 8 on my HP laptop.

Any suggestions?

The biggest third party app release for the Windows 8.1 launch belongs to the long awaited official Facebook app

AFAIK the app is made by Microsoft themselves and thus not an official Facebook app.

Does anyone know if per monitor dpi settings are working? I know the option is there, but I can't get it to do different dpis on different monitors. I'm on the beta, gonna try it on the latest release tonight..

If I remember correctly from the preview; Windows uninstalled the desktop app by itself.
It doesn't really matter if you do it before or after, it uses the same folder location as far as I know and with the built in features you can decide to store the files online-only or offline as well.

Just did the wsreset.exe on my Surface RT and it offered me the update. It's downloading now, although extremely slowly. I'd imagine the servers are being hammered.

TCLN Ryster said,
Just did the wsreset.exe on my Surface RT and it offered me the update. It's downloading now, although extremely slowly. I'd imagine the servers are being hammered.

Yeah, I finally got it going, I can't wait to hear how many are downloading the update.

Does anyone know where I can download the Windows 8.1 ISO apart from on TechNet/BizSpark/MSDN? I am upgrading now from the Windows Store but don't want to download it each time I reinstall the OS. Will the upgrade assistant work allow you to download an ISO if you have already got a Win8 licence?

Kenman said,
Download it using the store instead

The Store keeps crashing for me now. All I see is the green splash screen and the spinning dots on my Surface RT.

Kenman said,
Sounds weird - did you have 8.1 Preview installed? Will try on my Surface RT

The Access Denied error has now been fixed. Try it again, guys.