A leaked version of Microsoft’s upcoming update for Windows 8.1 has been out in the wild since late January. Annoyingly referred to as Windows 8.1 Update 1, the leak suggests that Microsoft will focus on improving navigation as well as the startup experience to make it a more PC-friendly OS.
There will be a new title bar for the Windows 8 tiles which will enable you to close, minimize, and snap apps side-by-side using your mouse. This means fewer keyboard shortcuts. When you right-click on a tile, the “Metro” app will present a contextual bar which will display more information.
At the top right-hand corner there will be a search and a shutdown button. The Verge details, “Search simply brings you to the regular sidebar interface, while the shutdown option provides a simple drop-down list for restart, shutdown, and sleep.” Both of them are quite prominent and not hidden away like in Windows 8.
New desktop settings allows you to show Store apps in the taskbar. This means that you’ll be able to pin Windows Store apps, and other programmes, to your Start bar.
The Verge notes that the latest leaks indicate numerous efforts to improve the mouse and keyboard experience — an area in much need of improvement.
The idea behind Windows 8 was initially to create a sense of unity across all Microsoft devices. These include tablets, smartphones and Xbox One and, of course, PCs. Since launch, the OS has not seen the massive uptake it was hoping for which will make this upcoming mouse-keyboard navigation update a logical step.
Last week, there were leaks suggesting that Microsoft might be scrapping its “Metro” interface and would let the OS boot to the traditional desktop instead. Whatever the case may be, Microsoft is expected to detail the finalised Windows 8.1 Update 1 at the BUILD conference between 2 and 4 April.
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