It’s officially here. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) just released Windows 8.1 and it’s now available for download. Users who already have Windows 8 can download the update via the notification in the Windows Store. Improvements in this update include built-in Bing search feature, visual changes in the start screen, and SmartDrive syncing.

windows 8.1

Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 improvements

Those who already use Windows 8 should have no problem upgrading. The download will also retain all applications, desktop files, and settings. As a precautionary measure, it would be a good idea to back-up everything just in case. The Verge added, “Windows Update that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) supplies on a monthly basis. Windows 8.1 Preview users will have a slightly different experience depending on how the Preview was originally installed. If you installed Windows 8.1 Preview from the Windows Store on top of Windows 8 then you can move straight to the final edition in the Store today. Personal files will be retained, but apps will need to be reinstalled. If you clean installed Windows 8.1 Preview by using an ISO then you can update to the final version of Windows 8.1 using the Store today, but the system won’t activate without a Windows 8.1 license key. Microsoft says existing Windows 8 keys will not work on systems that clean installed the Preview and update to 8.1. If you were previously  running Windows 8 then you’ll need to reinstall that copy before moving to 8.1 to ensure you don’t have to purchase a new key.”

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) also shared a list of updates for built-in apps including Mail, Calendar, People, Xbox Music, Fresh Paint, Movie Moments, and SmartGlass. This overall update should improve the entire Microsoft 8 experience. Surface RT users can also get the upgrade today. All the details regarding that upgrade is available through the Windows Store as well. Although Microsoft is struggling in a tech market that is dominated by smartphones and tablet computers, the tech giant is still around.