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Apr 2, 2014

Sony Xperia SP Receiving Firmware Update 12.1.A.1.201, Adds Improvements

Sony Xperia SP owners disappointed that their smartphones will not receive the long-awaited Android 4.4.2 KitKat update may be appeased by the fact that the Japanese company has released a new firmware version that brings some necessary improvements and bug fixes.

According to XperiaBlog, Sony has just started the rollout of firmware version 12.1.A.1.201 for Xperia SP, so it should be available worldwide in the next couple of days. Keep in mind that the update is available for all free Xperia S models: C5302, C5303 and C5306. Firmware version 12.1.A.1.201 is still based on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and is available OTA (over the air), as well as through Sony PC Companion desktop software. The official changelog of the update has already been published by Sony and mentions that it adds many improvements for the Xperia SP, such as enhanced user experience, improved battery life and software performance enhancements.

Some bug fixes are included as well, though no additional details are provided. Sony Xperia SP owners who have yet to be notified of the update should manually check for it by heading to Settings / About phone / Software update / Update. Make sure your phone’s battery is at least 50% charged and back up your sensitive information just in case.

Sony Xperia SP update changelog
Image credits to Sony Mobile

Windows 8.1 Update Now Available for Download

As announced earlier today, Microsoft released the new Windows 8.1 Update on MSDN, so subscribers can now download the released files and install the product before everyone else does it on April 8.

Although Terry Myerson hasn’t mentioned it during his keynote, Windows 8.1 Update is available on MSDN in two different flavors, as MSU installers and as standalone ISOs that allow users to perform a clean install, without the need for relying on Windows Update to deploy the files. The Windows 8.1 Update ISO measures 3924 MB and allows users to install any of the available versions of the operating system, including 8.1 Core, 8.1 Embedded, and Server 2012 R2. The MSU installers, on the other hand, have 360 MB in size for x86 and 770 MB for x64 and provide support for the same versions.

Windows 8.1 Update brings a long series of changes to the modern platform, including a revamped Start screen, context menus in the Modern UI and options to pin Metro apps to the taskbar. All users should get the new Windows 8.1 Update on April 8, the same day when Microsoft releases the Patch Tuesday fixes to resolve glitches in its software. Of course, it’s going to be offered free of charge to all those running Windows 8.1.

The new builds are now available on MSND
Image credits to MSDN/Microsoft

Microsoft Officially Confirms the Return of the Start Menu

Exciting news for users of modern Windows at BUILD 2014! Microsoft has decided to bring back the Start menu in Windows in a future update, in an attempt to make the operating system more appropriate for desktop computers.

Microsoft’s Terry Myerson confirmed at the show that the Start menu will return sometime in the future, but he refused to provide any specifics on when exactly this is going to happen. As you can see in the screenshot posted above and shown during his keynote, the new Start menu will mix the classic design with a modern touch, showing both the list of installed apps, as well as live tiles. The main power options are still there, so you can easily shut down or reboot your computer.

The same screenshot shows that users will be allowed to launch Metro apps in their very own windows, which means that the company is working to mix the Modern UI and the desktop in a future update. Previous reports indicated that such a change could take place in Windows 9, but Myerson hasn’t mentioned anything else besides “a future Windows update,” so expect these improvements to be released to users sometime this year, maybe as part of a second major update for Windows 8.1.

This is the new Start menu of Windows
Image credits to Microsoft

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