Today, Microsoft announced at Build 2013 that the Windows 8.1 Preview is here.

Some of the new features you’ll find in the Windows 8.1 preview include two new tile sizes (large and small) and the ability to sync customizations, apps and files across all your Windows 8.1 devices. In other words, if you change your Start screen, install new apps, pin new apps to your Start screen on one PC – all those changes are synced to your other PCs. Also, the Windows Store has been redesigned to make it easier to find the apps you want.

“My Start screen is filled with all kinds of apps with tiles in various sizes – Windows 8.1 adds two new tile sizes: large (really big) and small (really small),” Chief Windows Blogger Brandon LeBlanc writes over on Blogging Windows about the versatility the two new tile sizes lend to his Start screen. “For example – I have the Weather app as a big tile and it now shows me today’s and tomorrow’s forecasts. Big tiles can have much more information on them, which is great. On my devices with smaller screens – like my tablet – I feel I can pack in more apps into a single view on my Start screen with the new small tile sizes.”

To read the rest of Brandon’s post, which includes a very detailed walkthrough on how to download the Windows 8.1 Preview, head on over to Blogging Windows.

To install the Windows 8.1 Preview, go to the Windows 8.1 Preview page on Windows.com. The Windows 8.1 Preview will be installed through the Windows Store. Also, be sure to check out the Windows 8.1 Preview FAQ for the minimum requirements needed to install the Windows 8.1 Preview.

Finally, before you install the Windows 8.1 Preview, it is also highly recommended you backup any files you have on your PC or tablet first.

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog