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Windows 8.1 Update 1 screenshots leaked - shows the ability to pin Windows 8 apps to the legacy taskbar

Microsoft’s 2014 update for Windows 8.1 is aimed to land this April, and as usual, screenshots have begun to leak a few months early. Prominent hacker, WZor, has released a collection of screenshots from the latest build that reveal what may be in store for the future of Windows.

Known internally as “Windows Build 6.3.9600.16596.WINBLUES14_GDR_LEAN.140114-0237”, the leaked build is an internal development variation that is considered “Microsoft Confidential”. The screenshots depicted are from a Windows 8.1 Pro version of the operating system and at this time we aren’t aware of what slight changes there could be between the leaked professional version and the currently unseen consumer version of the operating system.

Taking a closer look at the system registry and “About” window captures do reveal Windows 8.1 Pro with the April “Update 1”. The most fascinating part of the screenshots though, is the Windows Store button pinned to the taskbar. This is the first time we have ever seen the ability to interact with Windows 8 applications from the legacy desktop.

Looking within the Taskbar and Navigation properties window, we also see an option titled “Show Store apps on the taskbar”. This confirms that Windows Store applications can in fact be pinned to the taskbar for fast access, but there doesn’t seem to be evidence of the ability to run the Windows 8 applications on the desktop itself – just the ability to pin them.

In many of the currently leaked screenshots, we can see that the “Windows Store” icon is highlighted as if it is open, but there is no sign of the application itself running. It appears Windows 8.1 Update 1 will allow users to pin their favorite apps and keep track of what is running, but will not allow the ability to run said applications in windows on the legacy desktop.

These screenshots take us closer to rumors and leaks we are beginning to hear about Windows 9, an operating system where legacy applications and Windows 8 applications can run on the desktop together. Windows 8.1 Update 1 is due out later this April and a leak is said to be on the way – we will keep you updated as news develops.

What do you think of the noted improvements to Windows 8.1 Update 1?

Source: WZor

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Reader comments

Windows 8.1 Update 1 screenshots leaked - shows the ability to pin Windows 8 apps to the legacy taskbar

116 Comments

I'm no design expert, but it seems to me that redesigning (upgrading?) the taskbar (which has improved in 'touch friendliness' between Vista and Win7) and replacing the desktop with the scrollable Start Screen would have been a much better idea than seperating Metro and Desktop in the first place.

Make auto-hide on the new taskbar the default and you have a fancy 'new' interface that works just like your old desktop.  Gripes -10.

The desktop is a nuisance though, since it lies beneath everything you are doing. All your windows have to be shifted out of the way, and then put back, which is laggier and less reliable than just pulling an overlay over them. So desktop shortcuts should just die (it should only be a wallpaper), and people should use the new start menu the way they used the desktop. It's the same thing, except it makes a lot more sense to briefly cover your work than to blow away all your windows, click something, and then hope they all resume their positions and size correctly.

Completely agree with you. I love Modern UX on my tablet (Dell Venue 8 Pro) but sometimes Win 8.1 jumping to Modern UX on my 24 inch monitor seems to slow me down on my work desktop (most of my work day gets spent between Visual Studio, SQL Server and Excel).

Amen there brother... I'm in a similar situation when doing any side projects at home. (We're still on Win XP at work, imagine that!)  It's really annoying to have to go back to the modern interface to open your desktop programs... short of installing one of those start menu plugins.

Having the things you use most often populate two different areas would be confusing. Personally I put all of my apps, webpage favorites, games, etc. on the start screen, even though many of them open up things on the desktop mode. I have my webpage start menu buttons open up the desktop internet explorer. However this does allow me to keep the desktop completely clear except for whatever is open at any given time. This makes the start screen a great one stop shop for the things I do most often, at least for me.

Why do you go to the modern interface to open your desktop apps? Why not pin them to your taskbar or create a desktop shortcut?

Because the modern interface IS our start menu and you can use it in practically the same way as the old one, with some caveats that can be compensated with a bit of ingenuity, for instance, using labeled grouping instead of folders

I find that certain programs work very well pinned to the desktop's task bar due to the ability to right-click on them and bring up jump lists of recent files

IE (right click for recent websites)
File Exlorer (right rlick for recent folders)
Media Player (right click for recent movies or songs)

Office [Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc] (right click for recent .docx, .xlsl, .pptx, etc. files)

Very handy

Luckly that functionality is still there in windows 8. As Saiyaku said, the start screen is just a replacement for the start menu. The only thing the really changed in windows 8 is that there is the ability to run full screen mobile type apps as well as the traditional desktop apps. The charms bar and start screen really are minor things that people made into a big deal.

It could be worse. I work at a biotech compan in Boston and we have some computers still running windows 2000! Luckily they are few and far between and it lookslike most of the XP machines are turning into 7. The aggravating part is that the window 7 logo is on all of these machines =/

If only there was a way to put shortcuts of your favorite programs on the desktop, man that would make workflows so much quicker. /s

There is a way to pin shortcuts to the desktop:

1. from the Start screen, swipe up to go down to the apps list in 'metro mode', go to the program's shortcut (e.g. Microsoft Excel)

2. right-click on the shortcut icon for the desktop program you want (here, Excel), which will pull up a context menu below

3. select "open file location", which will open up the program's (Excel) folder in the desktop mode

4. In the program's folder, you will see the shortcut icon. Right click on it and select 'copy'

5. right click on the desktop wallpaper and select "paste". Voila, you have shortcut icons on yoru desktop wallpaper.

It's not any different than pressing the windows button and choosing a new program, it's just a change of context. In fact, it's easier to use this way than the old way.

Personally, I have my "Work stuff" on the taskbar, and "free time stuff" on the start screen. Everything else I just "Win-key + type".

Also, if it really bothers you, you can make a toolbar (or whatever they are in english) on the taskbar where you have your programs.

What do you find yourself using in Metro mode? If it's just the start screen then the Windows + S shortcut helps immensely, I use it all the time at work.

Can you explain how it slows you down? The only reason you would go to the start screen is to launch an app. Chances are that app will be a desktop app. After you launch it, you are back in the desktop with your recently launched app visible. So, what exactly is slowing you down? Is it the 1 second transition effect that bugs you? If so, nobody opens apps enough during a single day that the 1 extra second the transition uses would materially effect their time. Plus, if your start screen is organized well, you will get that time back from not having to scroll through the old start menu.

The only strength it really had was the ability to use windowed applications. I for one hardly ever ran any applications in a windows that wasn't maximized. Even when monitors where expensive and most people had a single monitor, I still mostly ran apps maximized. Now that having a dual monitor setup is easy, I never have a need to use windowed applications. Full screen apps work for me. I believe Microsft's blog during windows 8 development also said that their telemetry data showed most people run their apps fullscreen.

Windows 8.1 Pro on an ARM based tablet? Sorry didn't readed the full article ;-)

 

EDIT: probably a screenshot .... I was to excited

Huh, so if they can make a custom one, is there a way we can do it ourselves or does it involve changing the internals? Too bad they don't have a full version tablet. I'd buy that in a second.

i did write on one article but cant find it anymore, my eyes are going to sleep and i cant hold it anymore, plz forgive me. and if u find my text on that other article inform me my phone number is 358456 i cant frekkking remember it sorry i wish u will find me and call me

This is only the beginning for Microsoft to merge everything together - good on them for getting somewhere!!

Not to start a war or anything, but in the interest of gaining knowledge, OS X Mavericks (latest Mac OS) does implement notifications from websites.

The Facebook app is much more touch friendly, add on notifications that I can receive anywhere in the OS and you have a good advantage over the website. Browsing the website is fine if you have a mouse, but the touch optimized interface is much better on the go or when just kicking back and relaxing on the couch.

If you think that then you haven't really experienced RT. It really is full Windows without desktop apps. That includes the huge wealth of device drivers that Microsoft have been building over the decades. Sorry, but from a tablet point of view WP can't compete with RT at all.

You have to be on some really strong drugs to want to lose the desktop, therefore losing the ability to do file management. Even if there is an alternative (the way the apps currently select files), they are not going to be as great as desktop file management.

It's getting really hard to sell 8.1 to my clients when I have to tell them that I'll install Classic Shell to make it more like Windows 7. I personally like change and new Windows geewiz stuff but I am a IT consultant and if my clients don't want it or can't stand the change, then I cant afford to sell Windows 8

Classic Start is a bad idea. Part of the problem is that people never used the advancements in the Start Menu, they kept using it like they were running Windows 95. Hunt, scroll, gripe at all the items, and then click.

IF people had gotten used to using search in the Start menu, the transition to Windows 8 would not have been such a shock. The behaviors to search in Start are the same from Win7 to Win8. Tap the Win key or click the Win logo and type. Sure, the appearance would have been new and something new for them to adapt to, but the results are the same.

It still looks metro-ish. My point is when you are in desktop mode there shouldn't be metro elements, that will only confuse many people who doesn't understand computers much

What difference does it make how it looks? It about how it functions. I think most people are familiar with the concept of a search box since they have been using it for years on google, browsers, and smartphones. Type what you need and you get the results. Not very complex.

I find it a lot faster to navigate using the mouse then to type anything, maybe thats why most people did not, and still don't use the seach field to launch anything; apart from maybe cmd, msconfig, etc but normal users don't use those anyway.

 

They didn't. Hit start and type, the search activates automatically. Or use Windows + S if you want to search while remaining in the desktop.

Or just press the Windows key and type. Been doing this since Vista... One reason moving from Windows 7 to 8 was painless for me.

Sorry, that's what I meant. I often call the Windows key 'Start'. Though as one of the biggest complaints about the new Start menu is that it's full screen, I often recommend Windows + S because it doesn't take you out of your current context.

As an IT consultant, I administrate pc's all day long and remotely show users how to do things, my cost to the client will go way up in time spent administrating and showing end users how to do something JUST BECAUSE, the start menu is NOT there. This is called higher Cost Of Ownership.

Send everyone a 5 minute youtube video showing the changes in windows 8. Tell everyone that the start screen is the new start menu. Otherwise, the desktop functions the same as windows 7. Problem solved.

+925 Pretty much what I do for friends and family. After my quick demo, they are sold and on their way.

The Start menu is there, the functionality is the same, it just looks different. If this costs you so much why don't you take 5 minutes to write (or find) a few paragraphs of documentation and then send it to everyone? Remote training for something that simple and repetitive is very inefficient, and you can't blame that on Microsoft.

About the only time I use my start menu (going ALL the way back to Win95) is to open a program for the first time or get to my control panel (I miss the fly-out control panel option from Win98 and the classic *read useful* start menu). I then pin/add the program to the task bar. Most of the programs in the start menu (Google Desktop options anyone) are seldom used. While I am not crazy about app mode in W8, loss of the start menu is overblown.

Well to me the pinning is only useful if you can run modern apps in desktop mode. That would be nice because right now I use no modern apps...

This isn't very surprising. You can pin a legacy app to the start screen. A shortcut that can work from desktop->metro should work metro->desktop. It is actually a little surprising it has been one way for this long.

Totally different aesthetics between the two UI, if it was jarring before it will be even more so running good looking modern apps in the ancient looking desktop. If the desktop doesn't get at least an optional modern theme it will look like total crap.

is that a nokia 2520? so thats the RT version. why would they enable this feature, something is fishy, BTW i didnt read the article, if i said something stupid just continue reading, and never mind this.

Launching Metro beauty in desktop clutter? No thanks. Even worse, giving another way to transit between two totally different screens? As if opening word documents from Start screen wasn't torture enough!

They are going the wrong way, I want more Metro not less of it. I want the desktop to disappear and for the desktop apps I use like AutoCAD to have a Metro version.

Yes more metro for me too. I don't care if the desktop disappears, as long as desktop apps can still be run. Ideally desktop apps will be updated to a metro app, with possible unlimited scaling like desktop apps now. I nearly always run apps full screen, so not important for me

You must be smokin something crazy. Hit me a message explaining how successful you would be doing some file management.

Metro is nice and all, but leave it to mobile/touch devices.  That is where its strength is.  Old style desktop is still the best for a PC-like setup.

Well...it's something I guess...useful for RT...and probably useful for people who actually use the Metro Apps on WIndows 8?

I don't see much point in this for the use I give W8.1 which is what I use on my PC. I never leave Desktop mode, I don't use any Metro Apps, so the fact that I can pin them to the taskbar is useless to me.

Again, the start menus are way more useful. So bring those back first before inventing more stuff. Address the requests and complains of users first, add these things later.

Why not just bring the Metro Menu to the Desktop? Let the live tiles and icons interminggle.

Slide from the bottom edge to bring up the touch friendly taskbar, or you can dock it. Your choice.

I like what your putting down. Iim nearly there too on my surface. Its taking time but I am less and less needing desktop.

Without the desktop there is no MS Office, Quicken or a reason for me to use Windows. Apps are fine for tablets, phones and other toys. Leave the desktop alone for the adults who need to work. BTW, I just picked up a gen 1 Surface Pro for a great price. What is the best thing you use it for?

I use my surface for fun. Its the frist gen rt.  I love it works great for lieing back relaxing on the coutch wanting to controll my xbox. check email. I dont need to squint at my phone for these tasks. As I am now useing my ie browser to type this message. Or I could use my wp8 lumia 1020 or my dell i7 16bg of ram desktop.. Its not the end of the world that I use less desktop on my surface its just the way I use it is more to relax kill time. If I want to work its there at the desktop.  yes i use quicken. lol

It will be hard to rework windows apps to work in desktop. Because desktop is a windows app its self. You can open and close it like windows 8 apps.

I think it will be a nice option for my desktop, but k am pretty sure I will still to the default for my tablets. I like separating my apps from my work.

I use ModernMix to run metro apps in a window on the desktop and pin them. I often snap the calendar app to one side of the desktop. I also use StartIsBack which gives me a Win 7 style start menu and allows me to show the start bar on the start screen. I really like this, it's what works best for me, I was happy to pay a few quid to tweak the UI to do what I want.