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Windows 8.1 has only been available for a few hours but already hundreds of reports are coming in about the Windows Store being inaccessable.

The Windows 8.1 update, which for the first time is only available via the proprietary Windows Store, includes a host of new features but is already causing controversy with a number of users reporting difficulty in upgrading.

Users have taken to social media sites like Twitter to vent their frustration, with user David Burns saying the upgrade took 7 hours, and Lifehacker editor Angus Kidman tweeting that the Windows Store repeatedly timed out.

The size of the update varies based on which version of Windows 8 users already have installed, but it's generally about 3.5GB. Users can also keep using their PC while the files download in the background, and the download can be paused in the Windows Store.

News is coming in however that if you have multiple devices to upgrade, you won't be able to download the update just once and apply it to all of your machines. UK news source The Register asked Microsoft, who replied in a statement:

"The Windows Store is the only way for consumers (non-enterprise, non-IT Pro) to download and install Windows 8.1. No ISOs will be made available, so each device needs to be updated individually via the Windows Store."

Windows 8.1 engineers did a Reddit 'Ask Me Anything' this morning, but neglected to answer a number of questions including 'Does Windows 8.1 still have the NSA backdoors in it?' and 'Wireless networks once set up there is no easy way to manage them either. With Windows 7 you could easily do this, with Windows 8 you can't. What's the logic of this?'. They also left the question 'Why do you still force users to completely switch out of the desktop context to start applications' completely unanswered.

In other news the updated operating system also comes with an official Facebook app for the first time.

The app, which comes from Facebook Inc itself, supports Facebook messaging, with the added ability to send messages to Windows Phone users that will appear just like SMS text messages.

Tapping on a photo makes it full screen, and you can unpinch to zoom (as long as you have a touchscreen of course).

The app is designed to work with Windows 8.1's side-by-side snap view of multiple running apps, and its Start screen tile shows updates while the lock screen can show notifications.

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David Swan

David Swan is a tech journalist from Melbourne and is iTWire's Associate Editor. Having started off as a games reviewer at the age of 14, he now has a degree in Journalism from RMIT (with Honours) and owns basically every gadget under the sun. He also writes for Junkee and Fasterlouder. You can email him at david.swan@itwire.com or follow him at twitter.com/mrdavidswan

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