Revised Windows 8 brings 'start' button back
Windows 8.1 unveiled in Taipei, to be available later this year
Software giant Microsoft has unveiled the updated version of its touch-enabled Windows 8 operating system at the world's second largest computer show in Taipei.
Tami Reller, chief financial and marketing officer of the company's Windows Division, said that Windows 8.1 would be available on both PCs and tablets later this year.
Speaking at the Computex show Wednesday, Reller said the 8.1 update took into account input from consumers on the Windows 8 system, which has received only lukewarm reviews.
"Windows 8.1 furthers the bold vision of Windows 8 by responding to customer feedback and adding new features and functionality that advance the touch experience and mobile computing's potential," she said.
Antoine Leblond, corporate vice president of Windows Program Management, demonstrated the upgraded system, which included enhancements in areas including platform personalization and search. The 8.1 system restores the start button function that was removed from Windows 8.
Once the most substantial presence in the computer industry, Microsoft Corp. has been working hard over the past two years to cope with the rise of tablet computing, and the resulting erosion in PC sales.
Microsoft's own tablets have a four per cent market share, far behind that of industry leader Apple. They have been available for seven months.
Microsoft announced in early May that it was retooling the latest version of its Windows operating system to address complaints and confusion that have been blamed for deepening a slump in personal computer sales. Last week, the company showed off some of the updates it had made in Windows 8.1, including larger and smaller tiles than in Windows 8 and a built-in connection with Microsoft's online storage system, SkyDrive, to back up photos, music and program files.