With all of the Windows 8.1 Update 1 screenshots that have been leaking onto the web over the past couple of weeks, it wasn’t long before we expected a copy of the actual operating system to show up for us to jump on. A pre-release build of the upcoming update from Microsoft entitled “9600.16596.WINBLUES14_GDR_LEAN.140114-0237”, has made its way onto the World Wide Web in the 64-bit architecture flavor.
The first update to Windows 8.1, known simply as “Update 1”, is rumored to be due out March 11 according to Microsoft journalist, Mary Jo Foley. The first collection of operating system tweaks contained in the update are said to include improvements for consumers using a mouse and keyboard. More major tweaks are also being included that will bring the newer Windows 8 app ecosystem and older legacy desktop environment closer together.
In terms of ease-of-use for mouse and keyboard users, we can now expect contextual menus to appear when right clicking Windows 8 live tiles. The new menus will allow easy control of common tile management functions including unpinning the tile from the Start screen, uninstalling the app itself from the system, running the app with administrator permissions, resizing the tile itself, and pinning the app to the desktop’s taskbar for more convenient access.
Those of you using a mouse and keyboard will also welcome the added addition of new minimize and close buttons to Windows 8 apps – those of you using a touchscreen won’t see them, but mouse and keyboard users will have them as an available alternative to dragging their apps down off of the screen to close them.
Other improvements arriving in Windows 8.1’s Update 1 are expected to include, as we stated above, the ability to pin your favorite Windows 8 apps to your desktop’s taskbar for quick access, along with new Search and Power Management controls on the Start Screen. No longer, must you access the charms bar to perform common functions with your machine – they are all in the upper right hand corner near your username.
Rumors also indicate Update 1 being able to resize the total footprint of the Windows 8 operating system. As with all rumors and leaks, not all is true and much can be changed before final release. We do not recommend searching out the leaked piece of software and installing it, as there is no telling how stable it might be – just leave that job to us and wait for the official release this spring.