Windows 8.1 Feature Aims to Please Tablet Owners

Windows 8 users can now add the prospect of better support for portrait screen orientation to the list of reasons they’ll want to update to Windows 8.1.

While Microsoft has spent the majority of the past two weeks detailing new features users could expect from Windows 8.1, until now, it hadn’t talked much about better support for display reorientation. This led many to believe that things on that front would remain the same.

In a speech at Computex, Antione Leblond, a Corporate Vice President for Program Management on Windows mentioned that in order to allow Microsoft’s partners to create the devices they want to, the company made more than a few changes to the way both Windows 8 and Windows RT handle portrait orientation saying:

“We did some work at the device interface level around edge detection and things like that to make it easier to have smaller bezels on these devices so that OEMs and folks who build devices like this could build exactly the kinds of devices they want, and Windows 8.1 will be great on them”.

A screenshot of the new Start Screen in a portrait orientation enabled by Windows 8.1, Credit: WinSuperSite.com

A screenshot of the new Start Screen in a portrait orientation enabled by Windows 8.1, Credit: WinSuperSite.com

According to Leblond, the company will give users the ability to create “portrait specific” Start Screen layouts as well and will also ensure that all of the applications that ship as part of Windows 8.1 will be optimized for portrait orientation.

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That Microsoft is already addressing this issue should reassure tablet users that the company is at the very least capable of self-diagnosing issues with Windows 8.

By most accounts, Windows 8 is pretty bad at enabling a comfortable portrait experiences on tablets, possibly because the operating system is mostly shipped on form factors in which landscape orientations are ideal.

Now that it has enabled 7 inch devices like the Acer Iconia W3, the company needed to address the constraints of Windows 8 as quickly as possible if it hopes to gain any kind of foothold in the lower end tablet space. Traditionally, 7-inch tablets are thought to lend themselves better to portrait use than landscape.

Read: Microsoft Working with Vendors on Smaller Windows 8 Tablets

While Microsoft will be making a preview version of Windows 8.1 available to users on June 26th, it won’t be making that update available to all Windows 8 users until sometime later this year.

Comments

  1. Nguyen Van Minh says

    Windows 8.1 (Blue) will run on smaller Tablet-P.C. which are in fact P.C.’s, well, much like how Windows originally didn’t run on P.C.’s but P.C.-Clones, I am aware that the general public gives new names to various objects, but Windows 8.1 (Blue) will feature MANY new features (no pun intended) for smaller Tablet-P.C.’s and will have more general functionality and productivity along with the ability to run to programs on a 50-50 screen.

    People tend to speak negative about Microsoft, but if they would take the time to test their products they’d know that it would be awesome.

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