Dec 03 2013

HP and Lenovo Applaud Windows 8.1 and Convertible Computers

The operating system update provides device manufacturers with improvements in the touch UI, faster boot times and more customization.

Microsoft rang in a new era in personal computing when it announced its Windows 8 operating system last year. Unlike Apple or Google, which have traditionally built separate operating systems for mobile and desktop devices, Microsoft built its Windows 8 OS as a flexible solution that could work on both tablets and desktops.

The initial run of Windows 8 saw the removal of the beloved Start button, which had been a key feature of the OS since its Windows 95 incarnation. But the subsequent update, Windows 8.1, added the Start button back and improved security features, accelerated boot times and offered increased customization tools for users.

This “convertible” approach in software has led to a similar approach in hardware among device manufacturers.

Lenovo and HP both have convertible notebook/tablet devices on the market and both companies see convertibles as the wave of the future.

According a CNET report, during a recent call with analysts HP CEO Meg Whitman said, “We've got a lot of convertibles in the market, so do our competitors, and we're advertising behind those because we think that's a really innovative form factor that's the best of the tablet and the best of the PC.”

In an article with ARN, Lenovo ThinkPad Product Manager Simon Kent extolled the advantages of Windows 8.1 and the company’s convertible device, the ThinkPad Yoga.

“The speed to boot up is noticeably quicker, and the reliability, particularly on a touch screen, is noticeably better and more fluid,” he said. “The customisability of the tiles, and how you can create your own blocks of tiles, is also much easier.”

Kent adds that there are also subtle differences that have improves the new Windows experience overall, which is a radical departure from past versions of the operating system.

The company plans to install Windows 8.1 as the default OS on all of its devices starting in February.

Has your organization switched to Windows 8.1 yet? Have you noticed a boost in performance?