What are some key features of Windows 8.1?
Windows 8.1 allows you to use a standard desktop screen or the modern Metro Start screen with live tiles for your applications. Optimized and built specifically to be used on touch screen devices, such as tablets and 2-in-1s, the Metro Start screen gives updates for applications like Twitter and Facebook, and the search feature includes local system results as well as results from the web. Other features include the integration of XBox as a media hub, and a synchronized experience across Windows 8.1 devices, including desktops, laptops, and tablets.
A few heartier features for the more technologically inclined are the ability to run ISOs and VHDs natively, which means you can setup and run Linux or other software without burning it to a disc, SkyDrive integration across native and 3rd party applications, AppLocker, which allows only whitelisted applications to be installed and run, and Windows To Go, which provides the option to create a locked-down version of Windows 8.1 on a USB Flash drive usable by temps, contractors, students or anyone, really, to run on their own PC. Using Windows To Go is like plugging in a tiny little computer to your own computer, as it leaves no trace on your own system, and it doesn't receive access to your local storage.
How do I get software for Windows 8.1?
With Windows 8.1, you'll have the option of buying software off the shelf in the usual way as well as browsing all the options in the Windows App Store, able to be accessed right on the Live tiles Start screen. There are plenty of free and premium applications to choose from to customize your PC just the way you want it.
What are the benefits of using Windows 8.1 Pro?
The biggest features for Windows 8.1 Pro are BitLocker and BitLocker To Go, features that were introduced the OS's previous version, Boot from VHD, Client Hyper-V, Encrypting File System, and Remote Desktop Host. Most of these are not necessarily new and specific to Windows 8.1 Professional, but if your are looking to update your operating and retain some of your Pro level applications and functions, then this is the operating system you need.