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Christmas Gift Guide

The "new" Start button

Snap more apps

Xbox Music is easier to use

Upgraded camera app

Settings more touch-friendly

Smarter search function

Windows Store gets a facelift

Food and drinks powered by Bing

Health and fitness

Though it doesn't bring back all the features of the Start button in Windows 7, you get more system controls and the capability to restart and shutdown without all the extra steps.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Eric Franklin/CNET
Where in Windows 8 you could only run two apps simultaneously in snap mode, you'll now be able to run up to four apps per screen (provided you have a high resolution).
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Eric Franklin/CNET
Though it had many of same features in Windows 8, the new layout makes it much easier to navigate, create radio stations, and explore artists.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Eric Franklin/CNET
The camera app that came with Windows 8 had only basic tools. With Windows 8.1 you get color enhancements tools, filters, and common editing tools like brightness, cropping, and contrast.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Eric Franklin/CNET
Instead of opening up the desktop to control settings, Microsoft has made it easier to tweak your system with touch-friendly controls.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Eric Franklin/CNET
When you use the search charm, you'll get expanded search results that come from several sources, from your hard drive to the Web.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Eric Franklin/CNET
Partly to entice developers, but also to make your shopping experience more convenient, the Windows Store now has big images and a better layout for browsing.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Eric Franklin/CNET
Easily browse recipes, check out featured content, and get cooking tips from Bing Food and Drink.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Eric Franklin/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Eric Franklin/CNET
Read articles, learn new exercises, and manage your workout regimen with Bing Health and Fitness.
Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Eric Franklin/CNET
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