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CNET News Video: Microsoft builds new features into Windows 8.1
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CNET News Video: Microsoft builds new features into Windows 8.1

4:28 /

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer previews the company's new Windows 8.1 operating system for tablets and PCs. Ballmer also highlights the return of the Start button, new Outlook functionality, Bing integration and gesture controls.

-So what we will show you today is a refined blend of our desktop experience in our modern user interface and application experience. You will see that we bring back the Start Button to the desktop. You will see that if you wanna boot to the desktop, you can boot to the desktop. You will see that we have nonetheless enriched the start screen and start menu but we have brought back the flexibility for you to see all of those many, many applications that you use everyday at a simple and quick glance. You will see we have built into the user experience more multitasking options. So, you can have more things up on the screen like you're used to in desktop mode. You can use more screen real estate with multiple monitors. We set let's reblend the desktop and the modern experience. -We designed 8.1 to fill natural in everything from the new mini small tablets up to large, powerful workstations. The new start screen for this small device works great in portrait mode. These devices are really easy to carry around in your bag or your purse, Start Screen. So, Steve talked some about the Start Screen and all the capabilities of the Start Screen. It is designed for all sizes of screen and it looks great on this big screen. I have all the things that I do everyday, sitting right here. I have a beautiful background. We've added lots of personalization. I'll show you a couple of things here. I'm gonna go to this Dragon 1, this bright colorful one and show you-- see how I'm sliding the tiles and the Dragon is moving behind there. I'll do one more. Set the robots. Now, watch on the bottom here as I move and the gears are turning, and you can just customize it to look anyway you want. So, we've added the capability to sweep things away. So, if I go and I select one of these, I got Living Social, use the sweep command, and I can delete them all at once. I can delete all but the latest and then as they come in, it automatically will update and set it aside for me. So, I don't have to manage all that content all at once. So, I'm gonna go ahead and delete all of these and sweep them away. It also has another very cool new feature. So, when I get in here, now this is sitting in your kitchen, you're using your tablet and you're cooking. Your hands are sometimes kinda messy and so we've learned by watching-- doing and watching folks do this and really nice to add something that we call hands-free mode. So, I'm gonna free the hands-free mode, it's gonna turn on the camera and then I'm gonna be able to use the camera itself to go ahead and advance through the recipe. So, I'm gonna sit here and go, without touching the screen, no messy hand. It's pretty cool. It came up with some innovative ways to use an on-screen keyboard. So, I'm gonna go to Twitter. No internet connection, that will be hard to tweet. And right away you see an application that was designed or an app designed for this 8-inch portrait form factor. So, here's the on-screen keyboard and I am at the build keynote, started at 9. I'm gonna tweet that. So, as I start typing, immediately, you start to see the suggestions at the top. It has B, Build, Bing as suggestions for me. Normally, I will take my hands away from the keyboard, go to this hop, press one of those and continue typing. With Windows 8.1, we've added gestures to the on-screen keyboard. So, as I slide my finger on the space bar, it selects across. I see the one that I want, I tap, and it gives me the word.

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