Yesterday Zoe and I went to the Microsoft office in Bryanston for the release of Windows 8.1. It was expensive; I had to use the Gautrain and its bus system, which was scary for a person from Pretoria. The only buses I have previously been on were the ones that my school used for trips.

The people at Microsoft were friendly though, they gave the all-powerful Zoe and me free cappuccinos and then moved us to the room where the other journalists were already talking, eating and drinking the other free stuff. They had freaking prawns in a blanket; I did not even know such things existed. However, thanks to a very big breakfast I had to skip all the food and go straight to the freezing coke that was in the corner.

This is starting to sound like a food diary so, screw that, back to the Microsoft experience. Windows 8.1 will see the return of the start button back, a boot-to-desktop option and some of the compatibility problems fixed. None of that was new to me – what surprised me was the small Incredible Connection that was just off the lobby; they had a freaking Samsung with Windows Phone 8 on it. Why would Samsung make a Windows Phone, I still cannot fully wrap my head around it. Ok, back to the conference thingy! The other big thing that got me excited was that I got my first official name badge. So, yippee.


The other journalists that were there were awesome and, being an intern, I decided that staying silent and simply listening to what they had to say (and their jokes) was a better idea than trying to look smart. Eventually, after a session of eating free food and drinking free Coke, we were asked to shuffle into a mini cinema/conference/gaming room with nice seats against the back wall. Then the show began and man, was I surprised. We were shown a few features, got to hold some of the new tablets and then we just started asking questions.

Zoe was quite helpful by telling me once that I have to write something down, which I then proceeded to immediately forget. None of the training I have received at College could prepare me for the total lack of formality that was in the room.


Also, I was brave enough to ask if any of the updates were going to Windows Phone 8. There is a separate update called GDR3 that has been released for the phone.

I found out (from my mistress) later what the thing that Zoe wanted me to remember was. The cores are the same so that means easy porting from the Xbox One to PC. However, research says this is only in AMD optimized games. According to Zoe and the guys, they have lied to us again.

Ok, so the OS has already been released, it looks nice with some new multi-tasking abilities, including the ability to have up to four applications open on the screen at the same time, and something that resembles a start button. Quick tip, I do not know if it tells you this, but if you right click on the shiny new start button, you will get a few options, including shut down.

Last Updated: October 18, 2013

was reviewed on PC

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