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Windows 8.1 Unveiled: The 'Start Button' Returns

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TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Software giant Microsoft showcased the updated version of its touch-enabled Windows 8 operating system at the world's second largest computer show.

Tami Reller, chief financial and marketing officer of the company's Windows Division, said that Windows 8.1 would be available on both PCs and tablets later this year.

Speaking at the Computex show in Taipei on Wednesday, Reller reiterated that the 8.1 update took into account input from consumers on the Windows 8 system, which has received only lukewarm reviews.

"Windows 8.1 furthers the bold vision of Windows 8 by responding to customer feedback and adding new features and functionality that advance the touch experience and mobile computing's potential," she said.

Antoine Leblond, corporate vice president of Windows Program Management, demonstrated the upgraded system, which included enhancements in areas including platform personalization and search. Although Microsoft isn't restoring the traditional start button on the lower left side of the screen, it is restoring a logo in that spot and will let users add favorite applications, such as Word and Excel, to a horizontal tool bar while working in Window's traditional desktop mode.

Once the most substantial presence in the computer industry, Microsoft Corp. has been working over the past two years to cope with the rise of tablet computing, and the resulting erosion in PC sales.

Microsoft's own tablets have a 4 percent market share, far behind that of industry leader Apple. They have been available for seven months.

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