Microsoft Corp. this week deployed the Windows 8.1 Preview to consumers.

Windows 8.1 includes a new Start button in the Desktop mode to allow users to beam straight back to the Modern UI. In addition, users can boot straight to the Desktop to skip the Modern interface.

New personalization features include the option to add a custom image to the Start screen or lock screen, more Start screen tile sizes, and more tile group options.

Bing search is now integrated into the Charm search function to add web results to standard file and document search queries.

Finally, Windows 8.1 includes a redesigned App Store, Xbox Music and Windows Runtime enhancements to support Point of Service devices, 3D Printers and Scanners.

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