Windows 8 vs Windows 8.1 – What are the differences?


Microsoft released Windows 8 in 2012, followed by Windows 8.1 in 2013. Both operating systems are designed for use on desktop computers, laptops, and tablets. But what exactly is the difference between these two versions of Windows? Here, we explore the differences between Windows 8 and 8.1 so that you can make an informed decision about which version best suits your needs.

Overview of Windows 8

Windows 8 is an absolute game-changer when it comes to operating systems! When released in 2012, this OS gave the PC experience a major revamp with its Start Screen featuring live tiles that update on their own. Plus, users can access thousands of apps via Windows Store – from music and entertainment to productivity tools for work or school projects. And if you’re looking for something quick and easy? SmartSearch’s got your back by providing lightning-fast navigation to all your files stored anywhere online like OneDrive & Dropbox! It’s no surprise why Window 8 earned itself such a spot in history – sleek interface & powerful capabilities rolled into one amazing package!

Overview of Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 was a good operating system and let me tell you – it packs quite the punch! Whether it be for enhanced security, improved performance or seamless cross-device integration; this OS has everything to make your user experience as smooth as possible. Plus with customizable tiles on its start screen that prioritize content based on what matters most to YOU; plus a search function that searches through both PC and web applications at lightning speed? It’s no surprise why many people are opting in for the latest version of Windows – they won’t regret stepping up their tech game by upgrading!

User Interface

The most noticeable difference between Windows 8 and 8.1 is the updated user interface in 8.1. In Windows 8, there were two distinct user interfaces: a traditional desktop with a start menu and a tile-based start screen for touch devices. In contrast, Windows 8.1 combines both into one unified design where users can switch seamlessly back and forth between the two options. This makes it easier to access different programs without having to switch modes each time you want to use something different on your device.

Apps & Features

Windows 8 was designed with an emphasis on touchscreen computing, but that wasn’t enough for many users who wanted additional features and apps to enhance their experience. With its release of Windows 8.1, Microsoft included several new features such as improved multitasking capabilities, better search functionality, smart SkyDrive integration, built-in support for 3D printing devices, more customization options for tiles on the Start Screen, expanded parental controls, improved mobility settings across multiple devices, and more Bing-powered apps like Food & Drink and Health & Fitness than ever before–allowing users even more ways to personalize their experience within the operating system itself!

Security & Performance

Finally, let’s look at security and performance improvements made with Windows 8 compared to its predecessor. As an OS platform that is constantly evolving security measures are essential—and with this latest version Microsoft has added several new protection features including support for Secure Boot (which helps protect against rootkits), increased encryption levels (for data stored within BitLocker), better malware protection through SmartScreen Filter technology (which helps detect malicious websites or downloads), enhanced firewall protection (for incoming threats from outside sources) as well as improved overall performance with faster boot times due to optimized startup processes!

All of these enhancements combine to make sure that your computer is safe from harm while still being able to perform quickly when needed!

What were the bottlenecks of Windows 8?

When Windows 8 was first released, it introduced some interesting new functionality, but unfortunately, it also brought numerous bottlenecks for users. One of the most difficult aspects of Windows 8 to deal with was its lack of start menu customization. Without being able to create personalized menus and shortcuts, users struggled to find the programs and applications they needed quickly, limiting their productivity. Furthermore, the learning curve for mastering the operating system’s touch-based interface was steep due to its complexity. This caused many users great frustration as they tried to adjust and use the operating system simultaneously. Finally, many users felt that Windows 8 was a poor successor to Windows 7 due to its design and lack of more intuitive control tools which were present in previous versions. Overall, these bottlenecks made using the OS a frustrating experience for many users.

Why should you upgrade to Windows 8.1?

Windows 8.1 is an upgrade you won’t want to miss out on! With exclusive features like a redesigned Start Screen and improved multitasking, as well as faster performance and better security, you will be able to enjoy your Windows experience even more. You can also access new apps for productivity, entertainment, and much more. And with built-in OneDrive storage, it is easy to store, access, and share all of your documents in the cloud. So why stay with the same old version of Windows when Windows 8.1 offers these amazing updates? So why wait? Get a technician to upgrade your PC.


Overall, Windows 8 vs Windows 8.1 may not seem like much of a difference at first glance but there are plenty of key differences between them when it comes to user interface design choices as well as added apps/features security protections performance enhancements & more!

Ultimately it’s up to you to decide which version is right for you based on how much control over your device you’d like—but either way rest assured knowing that both OS platforms offer plenty of great features out of the box! No matter which one you choose be sure to take advantage of all they have offered so that you can get the most out of your computer experience!

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...