Friday, 31 January 2014

Windows 8.1 Update 1 leaks: Boots to the Desktop by default, allows Metro apps to be minimized

Windows 8.1 Update 1 Start screen, with power buttonWindows 8.1 Update 1, showing a Metro app with the Minimize optionNew UI scaling options in Windows 8.1 Update 1Windows 8.1 Update 1 Desktop, showing the build string, and a Metro app on the toolbarThe latest build of Windows 8.1 Update 1 has leaked, revealing many of the changes that Microsoft hopes will make Metro less painful for desktop users. The biggest change appears to be that Windows 8.1 Update 1 will boot straight to the Desktop interface by default, reducing Metro to its rightful role as a full-screen Start menu. This, of course, would be a complete 180 from the original release of Windows 8, which defaulted to the Metro interface and lacked an easy way to see the Desktop after logging in.
Other notable changes in the leaked build of Windows 8.1 Update 1 are the addition of apower button to the Metro interface (no longer must you swipe in from the right-hand side!), and the option to “minimize” Metro apps, strongly hinting that Metro apps will be usable on the Desktop. (One of the screenshots shows the Windows Store icon on the taskbar, too.) Apparently, if you have a Windows tablet that’s smaller than 8.5 inches, the power button won’t be present, preventing you from accidentally turning your tablet off.
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