Windows 8.1 Includes Features for Small Windows Tablets

Posted on 26 June 2013 by

smalltablets 1

Microsoft have announced a focus on small Windows tablets, a Windows 8.1 preview download and have detailed changes for small screens. Changes include a new keyboard with gesture features, new Windowing for the Metro UI, layout changes (see right) and more. Here’s a few of the key features that have just been announced.

Keyboard Gestures

smalltablets 4 gestures

The Windows 8.1 keyboard now includes swipe gestures for selecting word predictions and inserting numerics and punctuation.


New color features, tile sizes and flexible windowing options will be available. Multiple windowing options are also included in the Metro UI.

Other Features

Other features include a improved all-in-one Bing-branded search feature, new Xbox Music features, share-to-music from the browser which scrapes artist and track info from a web page to create a playlist.  There’s a new lock-screen gallery slideshow feature and new pin-free unlock features for applications (for accepting Skype calls for example.) You can now swipe-up from the home-screen to access a list of all applications reducing the number of touchscreen apps. Image editing is now built into the photos app.

smalltablets 5 photoedit

All Windows 8 apps have been updated and new apps have been made available. E.g. a food app that can be controlled using hand gestures in front of the webcam – the first built-in perceptual computing feature in any PC operating system as far as we know.

The BUILD opening keynote continues (live and saved streams, info here.)

We’re also downloading 8.1 on a touchscreen PC for testing so stay tuned. Note Intel Atom based tablets are not supported at present which is probably due to the very tight OS and firmware requirements for Connected Standby capable PCs.

Welcome back to the world of handheld Windows PCs;  Microsoft. NeUMPCs are here!

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  • digi_owl

    I fear i need to grab one just to be familar with Win8 as the relatives designated “tech support”.

  • blader

    Looks like they fixed Metro in portrait but how well does the desktop handle when rotating into portrait?

  • meengla yip

    Changes look good. But I will still wait till a 7″ Windows 8 x86 based tablet comes out with a form factor of Google Nexus 7…

  • Elmstrom

    I miss the old UMPC portal forum, have people moved to somewhere else?

  • Andreas

    I think Windows 8.1 might be nice for small formfactor UMPCs

    I am going to try it out on my UMPCs, sometime soon! (Fujitsu F-07C and HTC shift)

  • Tom

    Are there even Windows 8 drivers for older Atom GPUs or are you stuck with some generic video driver for GPUs that don’t have official drivers?

  • animatio

    just as a reminder ….
    Fujitsu Stylistic 1000
    the Stylistic 1000 is the ideal travel computer. and still available!
    Write on the stylistic’s large eight-inch (diagonal) screen and the information is directly entered into any Windows based program.

  • John

    Wow, this site has been getting a lot of spam comments. Well, 2 on this page.

    What’s the word on having more control over Connected Standby? For example, the ability to disable entering Connected Standby when the screen is turned off and the ability to connect to WiFi access points automatically without having to exit Connected Standby?

  • Perry

    @John – I am interested in this subject as well. I would like to know if I can use connected standby to get alarms from my home automation system to ‘wake’ a tablet from sleep and perform various tasks based on specific types of alarm messages (for instance UDP or TCP). It would, for instance, be nice if the device could wake up and automatically show one of the IP camera’s video upon alarm message from that specific camera.

  • Andreas

    I use Windows 7 drivers, and it Works just fine. The problem is that the Windows 7 drivers are crappy, and can’t fully use the GFX. But that is Intels fault.

  • thanks a lot . It was really helpful.

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