Return of the setup wizard? Leaked version of Windows 8.1 features lots of helpful hints

windows 8 1 new features for newbies start screen

A leaked build of Windows 8.1 reveals a near-finished version of the Windows 8 update, which includes new features that are aimed toward first-time users of Microsoft’s latest operating system.

We’ve already taken Windows 8.1 for a spin – a couple of times already – when Microsoft provided a preview of the update back in June at the company’s annual Build developer conference, but, according to the Verge, this latest leaked version (build 9741) reveals several new usability features. New in Windows 8.1 will be a tutorial mode that provides helpful video clips to teach first-time users how to navigate their way around Windows 8, including how to access settings, launch apps, and get to different screens.

This new Windows 8.1 build also reminds new users about certain tasks that they can perform to more easily navigate around the OS, such as reminder pop-ups that tell users they can swipe in from the right to reveal the Charms bar and the Start button.

Furthermore, the leaked build takes a page from the Windows Phone book, bringing a series of three dots that reveal the context menu in certain apps, like Mail, People, and Calendar. Tapping on these dots give you access to more settings. Just like with the Charms bar, context menus in Windows 8 have only been discoverable by chance, with no solid direction as to how to access these features right off the bat, which was a big complaint for new users in the past.

New backgrounds for the Start screen have also been added to this latest build. These provide a parallax effect when scrolling across the screen, where the wallpaper moves along with the scrolling, similar to that of Android wallpapers.

This leaked build is likely the last version of Windows 8.1 before Microsoft sends out the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) version to computer makers, which is expected to happen later this month.


Here’s all the news from the Google Stadia GDC presentation

Google announced its new game streaming service Stadia during GDC 2019. Here is all the news from the event, including news on YouTube streaming and quickly accessing your favorite new games.

Still miss Windows 7? Here's how to make Windows 10 look more like it

There's no simple way of switching on a Windows 7 mode in Windows 10. Instead, you can install third-party software, manually tweak settings, and edit the registry. We provide instructions for using these tweaks and tools.

iPad Air vs. iPad Mini: Which new tablet from Apple is best for you?

Apple has unveiled two new iPad models, including a new iPad Air and a new iPad Mini. Both devices have a lot to offer. But which iPad is right for your needs? We put the iPad Air and iPad Mini to the test to find out.

Sony's Xperia 10 smartphone boasts a 6-inch screen and is now available

Sony took the wraps off of three new phones at Mobile World Congress 2019, including the new Xperia 1, which is the company's new flagship phone and the first with a 4K OLED display with a 21:9 aspect ratio.

Get the most out of your high-resolution display by tweaking its DPI scaling

Windows 10 has gotten much better than earlier versions at supporting today's high-resolution displays. If you want to get the best out of your monitor, then check out our guide on how to adjust high-DPI scaling in Windows 10.

Got gadgets galore? Keep them charged up with the 10 best USB-C cables

We're glad to see that USB-C is quickly becoming the norm. That's why we've rounded up some of the better USB-C cables on the market, whether you're looking to charge or sync your smartphone. We've got USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A.

Looking for a Chromebook? The Google PixelBook just got a $200 price cut

Once relatively obscure, Chromebooks have come into their own in a big way in recent years. One of our favorites is the super-sleek Google Pixelbook, and it's on sale right now from Amazon for $200 off, letting you score this premium laptop…

Nvidia’s GTX 1650 graphics card could be just a slight upgrade over the 1050 Ti

Rumors suggest Nvidia might soon launch the GTX 1650, and a leaked benchmark listing from Final Fantasy XV suggests that the new graphics card could be just a slight upgrade over last generation's GTX 1050 Ti. 

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.

Get the new Dell XPS 13 for $750 with this limited-time deal

Dell is currently running a limited time deal lasting through Thursday, March 28, where you can bring home a version of this year's new XPS 13 for around $750 with the use of a special coupon code. 

This is the easiest way to save your iPhone data to your computer

Living in fear of losing your contacts, photos, messages, and notes on your iPhone? Fear no more -- in this guide, we'll break down exactly how to back up your iPhone to your computer using Apple's iTunes or to the cloud with iCloud.

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.

Microsoft’s Clippy came back from the dead, but didn’t last very long

Before Cortana, Alexa, and Siri even existed, Microsoft Clippy dominated the screens of computers in the 1990s to help assist Microsoft Office users when writing letters. He recently made a bit of a comeback only to die off again.

Nvidia faces attacks from AMD, Intel, and even Google. Should it be worried?

Nvidia announced an expanded array of RTX server solutions designed to leverage the power of ray-tracing at GTC 2019. The effort will help Nvidia take on Google's Stadia in game streaming with GeForce Now, and the company's investments in…