Microsoft is expected to deliver an update to Windows 8.1 in 2014 dubbed Update 1, and recently the leaked screenshots are hotly debated. Screenshots of a purported early build of U1 show a Windows Store icon sitting on the desktop’s taskbar. Moreover, the taskbar properties window has an option to pin Windows Store apps to the taskbar alongside regular desktop apps.
Possible Features of Windows 8.1 Update
The leaked shots from Russian blogger WZor, who has reliably leaked early Windows builds for many years and versions, only shows the desktop. Presumably, however, Windows apps launched from the desktop would still send users into the fullscreen modern UI experience.
Another thing worth noting is that Windows Store apps will have an “X” button in their upper right-hand corners like desktop windows do, Thurrot claims, allowing users to close them with a tap or mouse click. Currently, the only way to close a Windows Store app was to swipe or drag downward from the top of the screen, which was hardly intuitive.
It all seems to be part of Microsoft’s road toward to Windows 9 — now rumoured to be on track for an April 2015 delivery. Windows 9 will reportedly feature a “Metro 2.0” interface that will allow Store apps to run on the desktop in separate windows.
It’s unclear if any of this functionality will be present in the Windows 8.1 update, or if opening a Store app from the task bar will just send you to the Start screen.
Either way, it won’t be a long wait to find out — the update is expected to coincide with Microsoft’s 2014 Build conference which runs from 2-4 April.