A Quick and Easy Upgrade to Windows 8.1 on Surface RT

A Quick and Easy Upgrade to Windows 8.1 on Surface RT

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Summary: Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, upgrades his Surface RT to Windows 8.1.

The free upgrade to Windows RT 8.1 for the Surface RT is in the store, and I must say, it is cool.

I decided to upgrade my Surface RT device this morning. Here are some of the particulars:

1. It took exactly 70 minutes for me to complete the installation. The interaction for me involved simply going to the store, selecting the Windows 8.1 button and saying install. It downloaded 2.11 GB of data, kicked off the installation, and did all the reboots. I continued working on my blog.

2. An hour later, I looked over, and it was “Setting up the device.”

3. Sixty five minutes later, it was ready for me to agree to the License agreement. I did that, and clicked through the wizard to set up personalization, associate my Windows Live (Microsoft ID) with my local account. And that was it.

a. With my Microsoft account, when I need to confirm something, it always sends an email to “my other” email account. This means I need to log in to a different computer to access the confirmation code. Be ready for this one if you are in the same situation.

b. If you do not have access to your confirmation code, you can select “I can’t do this right now,” and the setup will continue.

c. This portion of the process only took five minutes.

4. What do we get for upgrading a perfectly good Surface RT to Windows 8.1? Here is a very short list of some of the things I have found:

a. I can resize the tiles so that they are small, medium, and large. This is great for consolidating a bunch of really small items that I seldom use.

b. I can group tiles by name into a group. Remember the old fashioned Program Manager from the Windows 3.x days? Well, it is sort of like that, only not.

c. I have real Outlook 2013. Personally, this is not such a big deal, because I really like the Modern Mail App that came with Windows Surface RT. But some people wanted Outlook 2013 on their Surface, and now it is there. You will need to add a tile for it, if you are going to use it all the time because the upgrade does not add in new tiles on the Start page.

d. Of course my favorite part is that it now includes Windows PowerShell 4.0. That is right, Windows PowerShell 4.0 is built right into Windows Surface 8.1. This is way cool.

So go ahead and take the plunge. It is easy, and you will be glad you did. Surface RT with Windows 8.1 rocks!

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  • Surface RT with 8.1 is really cool and I'm hoping to obtain a Surface 2 soon, maybe this weekend.  Thanks for sharing your experience Ed, PowerShell 4.0 on this device is awesome!

  • @Brian: Just got mine yesterday. And it's awesome!