Microsoft releases preview version of Windows 8.1

Microsoft has released the preview version of its Windows 8.1 operating system at the company’s Build developer conference.

Previously known by the working title “Windows Blue”, the new release comes just eight months after the company released its predecessor, Windows 8.

Key features of the new release highlighted by the company previously include the reintroduction of the Start button, the introduction of a single control panel and improved multitasking in the modern user interface.

Other key features in the new operating including improved integration with the company’s SkyDrive cloud hosting service, a search feature describes as the “the modern version of the [DOS] command line” and the bundling of Internet Explorer 11 with the new release.

The computer giant has also released two new Bing apps alongside the release, including a cooking and recipe app called Bing Food & Drink, along with a health and fitness app creatively titled Bing Health & Fitness.

“Windows 8.1 will support the widest range of tablets and PCs and demonstrates how responsive we can be for customers. The preview we are releasing today is an important step for partners around the world that are building the next generation of Windows devices and apps,” says Julie Larson-Green, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Windows.

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