Conclusion: Windows 8.1 Update is geared towards pleasing mouse and keyboard users while simultaneously deepening integration with its touch-friendly interface.
Pros: Fastest startup of any Windows version. Better mouse and keyboard usability. Better integration of modern and "classic" Windows apps. Loads of included apps and utilities. Improved Mail app. Help for getting started. Better integration of tiled Start screen and desktop. Boot to desktop by default on laptops and desktops.
Cons: Dual nature may still confuse some. Windows app store lacks some big titles. Included apps (mail, music) not as slick as those of OS X Mavericks.
Bing Translator brings offline support, augmented reality to Windows Phone 8
13 May 2013
Summary: Bing Translator may have a slicker design and more jaw-dropping features, including offline support and augmented reality, but we can't ignore the fact that Google's product supports over 20 more languages.
Pros: Bing Translator for Windows Phone 8 comes with a nifty augmented-reality feature and offline support.
Cons: It supports only 36 languages, and doesn't automatically detect the input language.
Windows Phone 8 review: Microsoft's mobile OS comes of age
10 May 2013
Summary: Windows Phone 8 is absolutely worth using, especially if you enjoy a simpler, bolder interface. However, if you need a robust app selection now, stick with the more fully formed Android and iOS.
Pros: Windows Phone 8 closes major gaps by bringing support for HD screens, multicore processors, and NFC. Other software additions, like Kid's Corner and camera app tie-ins, are also welcome.
Cons: Microsoft's mobile OS still trails the competition when it comes to default voice navigation, basic camera features, and the quantity and quality of its apps. Voice actions are hit or miss.
Windows Phone is better than ever, but still falls short on apps
7 May 2013
Summary: Windows Phone 8.1 is the best update yet, thanks to its revamped design and modern features, but it lags behind iOS and Android.
Pros: Windows Phone 8.1 puts more tiles on your Start screen and finally gives us a notification center. Voice assistant Cortana is fast, helpful, and just a bit witty.
Cons: Cortana is in beta, so you'll encounter a few bugs. The Windows Phone app store has fewer titles than Google Play and the Apple App Store, and what's available isn't as full-featured as the iOS and Android versions.
Excerpt: When Microsoft launched its totally new Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system two years ago, it signaled Redmond’s first real step into the smartphone market. The 2-D, tile-based platform was visually stunning, and it showed Microsoft was intent on taking the smartphone operating system into new conceptual territory. It was different, and different looked good.
Summary: Windows 8 is a bold innovation, melding the worlds of tablets and PCs. Its excellent touch input, an app store, and better performance are compelling, but the changes will be too drastic for some and as a completely new product, a few rough edges remain.
Pros: Faster boot times, Two-in-one operating systemï¿½both tablet and PC, Excellent touch input, App store for easily finding, installing, and updating apps, New IE10 browser is fast and compatible, Better multi-monitor support, Low price compared with previous Windows releases, More informative task manager and file transfer dialogs
Cons: Unfamiliar and sometimes unintuitive interface navigation, Few tablet apps compared with competing platforms, Two separate control panels and browsers could cause confusion