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Microsoft Unveils Windows 8.1 in Taipei

On Wednesday, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) unveiled Windows 8.1 at the world’s second largest computer show in Taipai.

Tami Reller, Chief Financial and Marketing Officer of Microsoft’s Windows Division, said that the free update will be available to all users of PCs and tablets later in 2013.

Speaking at the Computex show, she said that the upgrade was designed around input from consumers using the current Windows 8 operating system–a product that has only received a lukewarm response.

“Windows 8.1 furthers the bold vision of Windows 8 by responding to customers’ feedback and adding new features and functionality that advance the touch experience and mobile computing’s potential,” she said.

Among it’s features, users will be able to better personalize the OS, a more intuitive search experience, and, as everybody expected, a return of the Windows start button–the missing feature that received more complaints than any other issue with the OS.

Microsoft Windows was once on the computers of a large majority of computer users. As mobile computing has taken over the market, Microsoft, along with other PC manufacturers, have experienced a large-scale loss in market share. The latest data show a 14 percent decrease in PC shipments.

Hardware manufacturers were hoping that Windows 8 would reinvigorate the market but so far, Microsoft has failed to garner interest in its new OS. The company is hoping that Windows 8.1, complete with the start button, will entice users to give the OS another chance.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Tim Parker had no position in the equities mentioned.

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