Windows 8.1 My Thoughts & My Windows RT 8.1 Upgrade

Update: I’m uploading more images to, you can find them here

Windows 8.1 My Thoughts

So by now everyone should know that Microsoft released Windows 8.1. Today at the Build conference Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO, explained (in that awesome loud tone he has) the new strategy moving forward will be faster releases of products in iterations. Hence engineering is moving faster than marketing and this could be a good or a bad thing depending on the organization. This change is similar to Apple OS release methodology where you can purchase an iteration of the OS at a minimal cost. I personally couldn’t be more thrilled with the change because it effects all the products Microsoft sells.

CrewI’m a fan boy of Microsoft so of course I’m happy with this change but I’m also an architect who needs to make sure the solutions I design and recommend meets the requirements of customers. You’d be surprised at the number of customers still on Windows XP and SharePoint Portal 2003 – If you’re a consultant like me maybe you’re not that surprised.

A few days ago I was explaining some of the changes in Windows 8.1 to my other half who said “so basically it’s Windows 7 again”. I think I just said umm something like that but the truth is it isn’t. 8.1 was designed based off feedback from customers much like the Xbox One. Microsoft is hearing what customers are saying and improving the products based on that feedback in a lightning speed fashion — This is HUGE people. It’s our jobs as consultants to help companies (from small business to fortune 5) get to the next generation of products. With 8.1 you can now boot to your desktop, use the traditional Windows 8 touch or have a better experience with a mouse. Get more information and download your copy here.

I love the idea of the Microsoft App & SharePoint Store because I can do stuff like this to my desktop…. Isn’t my nephew adorable in my Windows 8 tiles J
My Windows Surface RT 8.1 Upgrade

First I’d like to point out I have an iPad (latest gen) and iPhone 5, this will matter later on. I bought my Surface RT from a friend last year after Build, yes one everyone got for free at Build (Thanks Anthony :). I started using it for OneNote and Word and the SkyDrive integration. It came with the Touch Keyboard and I just couldn’t get used to it so I bought the Type cover – Must have. Since then I’ve noticed the App eco system has grown, yes even for RT, and I’m using my Microsoft Surface RT more than my iPad. I use it for work and personal stuff. I heart the “Windows Everywhere” experience in Windows 8 because my desktop Windows 8 Enterprise follows me without issues on my Windows devices. The one thing I didn’t like about the RT was it was missing Outlook and I don’t know how to function without Outlook. Well it’s over and I’m so excited to have 8.1 Installed on my Surface.

Here’s all I did and my upgrade process was flawless.

  1. I made a Recovery disk on a USB drive, as recommended, here are the instructions.
  2. Open the App Store and choose to download Windows RT 8.1 Preview. Note: That took about 2 hours to download.
  3. After it was done I choose upgrade, then agreed to the terms, it migrated all my content, had me verify my account via text message and there you have it.


Here are some images of my Surface RT running on Windows 8.1

Start Button, This PC, Outlook… On the start screen you can press any App to make groups.