In Pictures: What’s new in Windows 8.1 Update

Changes to default settings, dubious new features -- if you expect something amazing to turn you on to Windows 8, you haven’t been following along

In Pictures: What’s new in Windows 8.1 Update prev next

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Exposing Windows’ charms The Win 8.1 Update puts two new icons on the Start page, in the upper right corner, next to the user’s name.

The first icon lets you Sleep, Shut Down, Sign Out, Lock, or Restart. It duplicates the functionality that’s buried in the Settings charm’s Power icon, at the bottom of the Settings pane. For the generations that have learned to shut down Windows by clicking Start, it’s not exactly comparable -- but at least the Update version doesn’t require advance knowledge of right-swipe settings.

The second icon invokes the old Windows 8.1 search pane, which is hidden behind the Search charm. It’s entirely superfluous: Typing any text brings up the same pane. But at least it’s now visible.

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In Pictures: What’s new in Windows 8.1 Update

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