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8.1 also allows files to be saved directly to SkyDrive, and, after logging onto 8.1 via a Microsoft account, such as through Outlook.com, a device becomes personalized with settings and apps. Settings can be accessed without having to go through Control Panel, and SkyDrive can now be managed from Settings.
In keeping with its emphasis on touch, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President Antoine Leblond, writing Thursday on the Windows blog, described IE 11 as being "the only browser that is built for touch." Open tabs can be synced across a user's Windows 8.1 devices, and 11 allows as many open tabs as desired.
Michael Silver, vice president at industry research firm Gartner, noted that, even though there are still many details about 8.1 that Microsoft hasn't yet revealed, it's "hard not to think this is closer to what Windows 8 would have been if Microsoft had had more time."
He said that Gartner's view is the Windows' traditional desktop "is on maintenance," since it appears that Microsoft doesn't plan "on improving it all that much" because the tile-based, touch-focused interface -- formerly known as Metro -- "is the future."