Windows 8.1 Update 1 leaks online, brings a handful of desktop friendly tweaks

By on February 3, 2014, 9:42 AM
microsoft, windows, metro, windows 8.1, windows 8.1 update 1

Screenshots published last week by Russian leaker Wzor suggest Microsoft is planning a few desktop friendly changes with an upcoming update to Windows 8.1. Well, that’s all but confirmed now as an early build has made its way onto torrent sites, packing several enhancements for keyboard-and-mouse users.

According to a report by The Verge, the most obvious change is a small title bar for Microsoft’s Windows 8-style apps with options to close, minimize, and snap apps side-by-side using the mouse.

The Start screen also sees a few minor yet welcome improvements. Among them are new context menus with options to resize, unpin, and more when right-clicking on Live Tiles, while search and shutdown buttons have been added right onto the Start screen to let users more easily find those options.

Other changes include a control panel link into the PC settings section, and the option to show Windows Store apps alongside desktop apps in the task bar -- complete with previewing on hover. This means you can launch Metro apps like you would any other app without going to the Metro UI first. Interestingly, The Verge notes that if you activate a Metro app from the desktop then the task bar remains on top of the app until you start interacting with it. It’s not clear if this is by design or a bug since you can’t activate the task bar after launching a Metro app.

The report makes no mention on whether boot to desktop is now activated by default instead of being opt-in, as it’s been since the release of Windows 8.1 in January. This has been rumored in recent days and would be an interesting reversal for Microsoft. In the same vein, Microsoft is reportedly considering bringing back the full start menu in future updates, along with the ability to run Metro apps in windows on the desktop.

In the meantime you can look forward to Windows 8.1 Update 1 arriving on March 11th, according to rumors. We may see a few other changes too as the leaked build was compiled around three weeks ago on January 14th.




User Comments: 14

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tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Sounds like my Windows 8 phone features making it way to the desktop/laptop with this update.

1 person liked this | JC713 JC713 said:

This isnt enough for businesses to adopt the OS. Windows 9 has to bring back the start menu or we will see Windows 7 sticking around for a while.

Guest said:

We will see WIN 7 stay around because businesses have been and are moving from XP and are loathe to start another upgrade cycle. If you had a business decision to make about updating from XP

and your choice is Win 7 (has been out awhile) or NEW Win 8 which would you choose.

I can remember back when I worked in computers, one customer was very reluctant to move to XP as Windows 95 was well known and they were reluctant to go through the testing, training, etc.

To them the migration issues, time, money were unknown and a "if it ain't broke" mentality prevailed.

thelatestmodel thelatestmodel said:

We will see WIN 7 stay around because businesses have been and are moving from XP and are loathe to start another upgrade cycle. If you had a business decision to make about updating from XP

and your choice is Win 7 (has been out awhile) or NEW Win 8 which would you choose.

I can remember back when I worked in computers, one customer was very reluctant to move to XP as Windows 95 was well known and they were reluctant to go through the testing, training, etc.

To them the migration issues, time, money were unknown and a "if it ain't broke" mentality prevailed.

Any IT department that works like this is doomed. You have to keep future upgrades in mind and accept that you will never, ever be sitting pretty. There's always some new shit to do. Case in point, companies have a matter of months to get off of XP before it becomes a huge security risk. For many, time has already run out.

Railman said:

We will see WIN 7 stay around because businesses have been and are moving from XP and are loathe to start another upgrade cycle. If you had a business decision to make about updating from XP

and your choice is Win 7 (has been out awhile) or NEW Win 8 which would you choose.

I can remember back when I worked in computers, one customer was very reluctant to move to XP as Windows 95 was well known and they were reluctant to go through the testing, training, etc.

To them the migration issues, time, money were unknown and a "if it ain't broke" mentality prevailed.

Any IT department that works like this is doomed. You have to keep future upgrades in mind and accept that you will never, ever be sitting pretty. There's always some new shit to do. Case in point, companies have a matter of months to get off of XP before it becomes a huge security risk. For many, time has already run out.

A case of doomed if you don't and doomed if you do! I suspect that many organisations cannot afford a major IT update thanks to the recession and many may be using applications not tested with W8. Some of those applications may come from a major supplier such as Oracle that tend to be a couple of generations behind MS.

A switch to W8 for a company would mean training the majority of the workforce which could cost several times the cost of the software. There would be the direct cost of the training and the opportunity cost of staff being away from their day job. And don't forget the initial loss of productivity!

TheBigFatClown said:

We will see WIN 7 stay around because businesses have been and are moving from XP and are loathe to start another upgrade cycle. If you had a business decision to make about updating from XP

and your choice is Win 7 (has been out awhile) or NEW Win 8 which would you choose.

I can remember back when I worked in computers, one customer was very reluctant to move to XP as Windows 95 was well known and they were reluctant to go through the testing, training, etc.

To them the migration issues, time, money were unknown and a "if it ain't broke" mentality prevailed.

Any IT department that works like this is doomed. You have to keep future upgrades in mind and accept that you will never, ever be sitting pretty. There's always some new shit to do. Case in point, companies have a matter of months to get off of XP before it becomes a huge security risk. For many, time has already run out.

Wow, way to be a drama queen. Do you have a degree in acting? Over and over like a broken record I keep hearing the world is going to end if anyone uses Windows XP past the support ending dates. Time has run out? TIME HAS RUN OUT? OMG, were all gonna DIE!!!!!

LOL. Phffffttttt!!!!!

You do know that several other companies have already publicly stated that they will continue supporting their products for Windows XP, right? Microsoft ain't the only game in town.

Teko03 said:

We will see WIN 7 stay around because businesses have been and are moving from XP and are loathe to start another upgrade cycle. If you had a business decision to make about updating from XP

and your choice is Win 7 (has been out awhile) or NEW Win 8 which would you choose.

I can remember back when I worked in computers, one customer was very reluctant to move to XP as Windows 95 was well known and they were reluctant to go through the testing, training, etc.

To them the migration issues, time, money were unknown and a "if it ain't broke" mentality prevailed.

Any IT department that works like this is doomed. You have to keep future upgrades in mind and accept that you will never, ever be sitting pretty. There's always some new shit to do. Case in point, companies have a matter of months to get off of XP before it becomes a huge security risk. For many, time has already run out.

Wow, way to be a drama queen. Do you have a degree in acting? Over and over like a broken record I keep hearing the world is going to end if anyone uses Windows XP past the support ending dates. Time has run out? TIME HAS RUN OUT? OMG, were all gonna DIE!!!!!

LOL. Phffffttttt!!!!!

You do know that several other companies have already publicly stated that they will continue supporting their products for Windows XP, right? Microsoft ain't the only game in town.

What can other companies do to secure security holes and exploits at the operatiing system level --- absolutely NOTHING. Any business still running XP past April 2014 might as well disable any badging & physical security systems.

Railman said:

We will see WIN 7 stay around because businesses have been and are moving from XP and are loathe to start another upgrade cycle. If you had a business decision to make about updating from XP

and your choice is Win 7 (has been out awhile) or NEW Win 8 which would you choose.

I can remember back when I worked in computers, one customer was very reluctant to move to XP as Windows 95 was well known and they were reluctant to go through the testing, training, etc.

To them the migration issues, time, money were unknown and a "if it ain't broke" mentality prevailed.

Any IT department that works like this is doomed. You have to keep future upgrades in mind and accept that you will never, ever be sitting pretty. There's always some new shit to do. Case in point, companies have a matter of months to get off of XP before it becomes a huge security risk. For many, time has already run out.

Wow, way to be a drama queen. Do you have a degree in acting? Over and over like a broken record I keep hearing the world is going to end if anyone uses Windows XP past the support ending dates. Time has run out? TIME HAS RUN OUT? OMG, were all gonna DIE!!!!!

LOL. Phffffttttt!!!!!

You do know that several other companies have already publicly stated that they will continue supporting their products for Windows XP, right? Microsoft ain't the only game in town.

What can other companies do to secure security holes and exploits at the operatiing system level --- absolutely NOTHING. Any business still running XP past April 2014 might as well disable any badging & physical security systems.

You need to check your facts. MS will continue to issue security risks for XP till July 2015. In addition anti virus companies will continue to support XP.

I would suspect that most companies which need to update from XP will choose W7 even when W9 is released.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Any business still running XP past April 2014 might as well disable any badging & physical security systems.
What an idiotic statement. Just because someone is wearing old cloths, doesn't mean they should completely undress. Just because they are still running XP, doesn't mean they will become an immediate target after April 2014. Why don't we leave this judgment for the IT department to decide. After all it is their job on the line, to know what is best for their company.

There are companies that are completely cut off from the rest of the world. The only way to target them, would be to physically visit the location and hope you get access to a terminal. Under these condition, I don't think it really matters how many security holes are in the OS.

Mike Steele Mike Steele said:

If they keep working on it, maybe I might reinstall windows 8.x as a novelty o/s

Guest said:

Blah. Everything I did in Word 2 I do now in Word 2013 except things are now bloated and slower & are more the security risk!

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Blah. Everything I did in Word 2 I do now in Word 2013 except things are now bloated and slower & are more the security risk!
I don't know how I should interpret this.

  • First the thought of the users needs being met by software from 1995.
  • Second the thought of the user upgrading when a 486 system from 1990's seem to be sufficient.
  • Third mentioning current systems being slow, while suggesting that all their needs can be met by an extremely aged system.
  • Forth commenting about Word as if it is the only aspect of an OS, which is the topic not Word.

Being around through the years and watching Windows (and Word for the merit of this comment) develop, I can only envision someone making this comment, if they rarely ever use a PC. And only use the PC to make occasional Word documents in a very basic format. Makes me wonder why they don't simply use WordPad or NotePad for that matter.

1 person liked this | Guest17 said:

Incremental downgrade/upgrades are merely time lapse mechanisms Microsoft is employing to save face for its W8 blunder; as most people can attest, hubris is hard to swallow. Still, only Micro-shills and Micro-hacks will label these tweaks as noteworthy. The rest of us will continue cling to W7 like a well-worn pair of shoes and feel pleasantly comfortable doing so.

1 person liked this | SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

@cliffordcooley - I'm generally a big fan of using older, less bloated software if you don't need all the features of the newer ones. To your point, if all he is using Word for today is the same he did in 95, then perhaps he's better off saving the money spent on Office and just using a free option either in the cloud or something like LibreOffice.

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