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Windows 8.1 Update 1: Rumored changes

The first update to Microsoft’s flagship operating system is nearly ready to be released and rumors are swirling about new features and proposed changes.


Information about the next update to Microsoft's flagship operating system is beginning to make the rounds and several new features and changes are catching a few people's eyes. In this next round of changes to the lack-luster Windows 8 operating system, Microsoft looks to be making adjustments aimed at increasing the comfort-level of its previously forgotten mouse and keyboard users.

No. Metro and the modern apps are still there and they're not going anywhere while there is an 8 in the operating system's name. Instead, Microsoft is attempting to balance the touch-friendly operating system with minor additions that make not using touch-enabled devices much more intuitive and familiar.

Here are a few of the rumored changes in store for the first update to Windows 8.1.

Taskbar shortcuts for Windows 8.1 modern apps

Many users who spend most of their time on the desktop in Windows 8.1 still need to use modern apps from time to time. In Windows 8.1's new update, the process of launching a modern app will become easier. The proposed change will allow modern apps to be pinned to the taskbar, much like any other program, and will allow for thumbnails of the modern app and the ability to launch right to the app without the Metro go-between.

Windows 8.1 modern apps and right-click menus

The next rumored change to Windows 8.1 Update 1 stays with the modern apps and this time adds a little extra functionality while in Metro. Currently, when a modern app is right-clicked in the Metro screen, the menu selections appear at the bottom of the screen and this ends up causing a lot of extra mouse movement. The change will provide a pop-up menu for mouse users, just like right-clicking a program on the desktop.

Shutdown and search easier to access

Locating the Windows 8.1's shutdown and search buttons, for first-time users, became a lesson in frustration for many. Sure, the process seems simple now that you know where its located, but early on, this became a problem. Microsoft is rumored to have recognized this fault of hiding simple functions behind the Charms bar and Settings selections and will reportedly be placing power and Bing search buttons on the Metro Start screen.

Windows 8.1 modern apps Close button

Windows 8 was designed from the ground up to be touch enabled and nowhere else is that more obvious than the close function of modern apps. For a touch-enabled device, simply dragging from the top to the bottom of the screen will close the modern app. However, for a mouse user, you must activate the function by clicking at the top of the screen once a hand appears and then, while still holding down the left-mouse button, moving the small-version of the modern app all the way to the bottom of the screen until it disappears and closes.

The rumored change to combat the discrepancy between closing modern apps on a touch-enabled device versus using a mouse is a simple one: Microsoft will add a familiar "X" to the upper-right corner of modern apps. This will allow for a simple left-click on the "X" to close the modern app.

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