More Windows 8.1 Update 1 leaks appear - shows the ability to run Windows 8 apps on the legacy desktop

With the number of Windows 8 Update 1 screenshots flooding the web, it feels like the latest operating system update from Microsoft has already hit. In previously leaked screenshots we were able to see the beginning of a merge between Windows legacy applications and Windows 8 applications. We were shown that the operating system update will bring with it the ability to pin your favorite applications to the taskbar. But now, we are seeing possible screenshots of Windows 8 applications being able to run directly on the desktop itself.

The leak comes once gain from, WZor, and was posted on his personal blog less than twenty-four hours ago. The new build is being quoted as “9600.16606.WINBLUES14_GDR_LEAN.140126-20 42” and does in fact show Windows 8 applications not only being pinned to the desktop, but also running in contained windows.

 The Windows 8 application windows themselves stick with a minimalist border design (quite frankly, what we hoped to see with regular Windows 8 desktop applications), that feature the apps icon on the left hand side and window control options, such as minimize and close, on the right hand side. It appears that if a user right clicks the app icon, they are also presented with the additional options to snap the application to the Left or Right.

Another supposedly leaked screenshot comes from and shows the Windows taskbar running below an open Windows 8 application – Bing Finance in this example. This screenshot lacks the border buttons from WZor’s leaked screenshots, so it may be a contradiction or simply an alternative way of viewing the app itself. If we had to choose between the two, we would lean with more confidence towards WZor’s claims.

Windows 8.1 Update 1 is rumored to arrive this March and it is aimed to truly unify the Windows 8 application interface with the older style legacy desktop. The question is, are you excited?

Source: Wzor, PCPortal

Michael Archambault
  • Finally! Microsoft found a way to actually put the Metro apps on legacy desktop!
    Old desktop users, rejoice!
    (I won't be using it though because I prefer the full screen Metro experience, even when using a mouse/touchpad and a keyboard)
    Zomg they even added a power button next to the user account name!!!!!!!! Such desktop.
    So metro.
    Much window.
    Very update.
  • +1 for the Doge reference :)
  • +920 I prefer the full screen Metro experience too and hope the new features are configurable!!
  • +1020. I prefer it as is in 8.1. If they really should make these changes, they should use the Zune style border-less design. It will leave the Metro clean interface intact. Also, I liked the AeroGlass with Matte finish in the Consumer Preview for the border in desktop apps and taskbar.
  • I still don't understand why it gets called the 'legacy' desktop. As opposed to what? The Modern UI desktop? There is no such thing. =/
  • I was going to make the exact same post. I'd hate to do heavy multitasking/power work on the "Modern" UI.
  • because the whole desktop is legacy. when was the last time you got an important new app for the desktop? you have some games and maybe a custom app for work. Developers have switched to mobile apps, because that is where consumers are going. Consumers are were the money is. enterprise customers will get a set of apps they need and will use them for a decade without buying anything new. therefore the desktop is where you run your old apps and is legacy. You want new stuff? it will be on metro or on a web browser. 
  • The last time I got an important new desktop app? How about the entire Office Suite. Skype with significantly more functionality than its Metro counterpart. The leagues of games made for desktop windows each week that aren't even considered for the Metro Store. Professional level editing tools like Photoshop which have laughable alternatives in Metro. And my favourite one to cite - Visual Studio, the program used to code Metro apps in the first place. If the desktop were to die today, Metro would die with it, simply because it's impossible to develop for it without the desktop. So let me know when developers can code Windows 8 apps without using the desktop. Until then, the desktop could not be further away from being a 'legacy' feature.
  • The XBox One APIs are designed around RT.  It will not be long before you see AAA games released through the Windows Store.  It is trivial to port games from Xbox One to RT. The fear of this was enough to make Gabe Newell take off his bib and put down the fork to rant and rant over it.   Microsoft correctly sees the desktop the way that Apple does: it is indeed legacy for the majority of users. That does not mean it has no purpose.  The difference is Apple is still showing attention to the desktop.   When computers transitioned from dumb terminals that accessed mainframe applications to PCs on everyone's desk, there were people like you that said almost the same thing. PCs were not at powerful as mainframes and would not last. Well, mainframes haven't gone away, we just call them web servers now and they deliver those apps through the dumb terminal of a web browser.   times change. The desktop is dead, the file system is dead.  You might as well argue that you can manage your IRQs better than the OS can.
  • Cute how you talk about Xbox One games, RT games and porting between the two. Guess what? You need the desktop to make Xbox One games. You need the desktop to make Windows RT games. You need the desktop to port between the two. ...and you're trying to tell me that the desktop is dead? =/
  • You're ignoring the main point he made: the desktop is dead for the majority of users, NOT for everyone or for every purpose.   Non-professionals do not need a desktop environment, and as Metro and Windwows mature regular users will need it less and less. The average consumer can already do pretty much all they need with an iPad or Windows RT tablet. Metro will mature to enable more flexibility, more APIs, up to the point that anything a regular user could need is possible. Add to that the planned compatibility between phone, tablet, Xbox, and PC, and you have essentially one platform that covers everything most people need on every device. Without a desktop.   Visual Studio is not something the vast majority of people will ever need. Of course some people will need the desktop environment - just as some people need mainframes or some people need giant trucks. Most people don't need those things, and they are only needed to facilitate getting the things average users do need into the stores.   The desktop is to metro what the DOS command prompt is to Windows.
  • Rejoice for what?! If I wanted yesteryear technology and features I would go to my basement and plug in my Packard Bell 8088 computer and enjoy the world of DOS once again. This is 2014 I want to see Microsoft move further into the future rather than be stalled by people who can't appreciate innovation and want to live in the past.
  • I don't see this going backwards. I've accepted windows 8.1, and I honestly can't tell that its not normal, tweaked windows 7. I do like metro apps too, they're easy to make, there is a unified store for them like on Ubuntu for example, but I don't use them very often. I would, if I could pin it to the taskbar though. If they make the icon on the taskbar into a live tile, now that would,be top shit. Like a wide one. With metro apps I got a nice client for google play music, that wasn't available before, tune in radio, nice weather widget and more. But I still mostly use desktop programs.
    oh yeah, before I forget, +925
  • Totally agree with you. For the hesitation of taking a little learning curve there is all this hue and cry saying "i want things as they were" loosing sight of all the usability and performance improvements in the process... And all of this mostly because its from "Microsoft" after a couple of years when all have copied it... well now we are ready to take the pain to learn what apple/google has to sell and then preach how "intutive" it is... Now every design is flat....iOS5, Google Now, Samsung Magazine UX.... oh how many apple/google fans thought the flat design brought by microsoft in their windows phone 7 first and then windows 8 was funny... now its... "woooooow look iOS5 has a flat design".
  • Hmm, we'll see.
  • Desktop in metro, metro in desktop. Damn!
  • They got chocolate in my peanut butter!
  • Now this is pretty interesting, if they do it right
  • Right being the important word. I'll be interested what they'll do with Swipe-to-Close for Metro apps running on the desktop.
  • If the Modern apps are running on the desktop, I prefer to have some nicely modified version of the existing Minimize/Maximize/Close buttons. Not using the current design, but perhaps something that blends better with the app being used.
  • Yup! Just like the Zune Desktop app..
  • Modern Apps, whether running on the Desktop or in the Modern UI, will all have AT LEAST close buttons for mouse/keyboard systems in Update 1.  They will have minimize and maximize when they are windowed and will also have a simpler "Snap" button for a mouse on the Desktop and in the Modern UI.   I have no inside knowledge.  Just reporting what Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley have reported, but both of them have great sources.  That said, neither thought that running Modern UI apps in the Desktop was coming until Threshold/Win9.  Makes a lot of sense.  I wonder if Windows 9 will see the beginning of a revamping of the Desktop to allow it to be more touch compatible or if we'll see Modern be able to run full screen Desktop apps in an attempt to gradually eliminate the Desktop.
  • When they are running on desktop you can just close/minimize it from the task bar.
  • It's in pic #2. Metro apps running on the desktop will carry the minimize, maximize and close buttons. I just hope they maintain the buttons even in the apps are running in the Metro environment for the sake of consistency for people using mouse and keyboard input. For me I haven't had an issue using windows 8/8.1 in its current state with mouse and keyboard.
  • Wouldn't that completely defeat the purpose of running apps in the Modern UI vs. the Desktop? I understand placing the min/max & close buttons on the apps running on the desktop; it creates more unity across desktop applications. But adding those same buttons in Modern UI completely defeats the purpose.
  • Whether it defeats the purpose or not it debatable. What I'm saying is that i am fed up of the whining about Windows 8. I assure you when that change is made and they same buttons aren't available in the Modern UI on the desktop with Mouse/Keyboard input; there will be more talk about inconsistencies in the UI. The last thing MS needs is having a whole load of bad press about the desktop after its third update; that all I'm saying. Like I said, I really don't care for the tweaks because it hasn't hindered me one bit and I'm a graphic designer and web developer.
  • I hate trading screen space for the close and minimize buttons.  It should be 100% content.  I believe those buttons show up only when you move your mouse to the top of the screen. Or there is an option to disable it.
  • It looks like you won't be trading any screen space. I agree that it looks like the buttons will slide down from the top when you move your mouse to the top of the screen
  • It'll be entertaining to see whose version of "right" they do this in.
  • Seems nice
  • And vice versa???
  • A power button too. Oooo ahhhh
  • I got really used to right clicking on the start to shut down. So used to it actually, that I tried the same on windows 7 machine. It didn't work :(
  • No rumor meter?  
  • No rumor, no meter.
  • this is a leak, not a rumor... changes might happen, but its not like this is a fan idea or something, its just someone who has access to recent Windows builds and leak images of it. and its someone you can trust, since he was the one leaking RTM of 8.1
  • If the desktop still looks like crap like it does now, no thanks.
  • That's why you can still ignore the desktop completely if you choose to :)
  • But how come the Live tiles are going off the screen at the bottom???
  • well Im sure... they (wpcentral) took the picture from Wzor and open it in the surface and took a pic of it, so the scale would be different. but its like to show how this would look like in a real device
  • That's good. I prefer the start screen as I hardly have a need for the desktop except when running office and visual studio
  • Me too. I use the desktop a lot for work, but for personal use I'm 100% touch-UI. It's nice to have the choice.
  • So that's why we'll all be getting this Windows 8.1 clusterfuck edition that adds desktop paradigms to Modern UI apps, just look at the first picture with the legacy context menu!! Update 1 is going nowhere near any of my devices!!
  • Right click menus like that show up when you use the mouse. When you use touch you get the panels from the side/bottom. W8 already makes this distinction in many areas, they're just adding some more to the mouse side.
  • They just need to add the store to windows 7. Increasing numbers of potential store users by a significant number, this may then drive up app development.
  • That would require windows 7 being windows 8. If you want apps then upgrade to the OS that has apps.
  • It is the other way around: it is MS that wants, understandably because they get a percentage of the paid amount, people to buy apps on the store.
  • As a windows 8.1 user, i just want all apps to be Metro apps, if it was then we would get more apps for surface 2 and RT. That is the problem metro apps are not popular enough. Companies are still developing win32 apps because windows 8 is not popular enough. Add the store to windows 7 and you get 80% more people and possibly metro apps become the norm. Especially if they can be run in the desktop.
  • It's not that easy. Win32 apps are much more powerful for many reasons. It's nearly impossible for software like Photoshop or Visual Studio to run in RT (for now :) .
  • If the apps can run in the Desktop, it would be interesting to see if they could have the Store in Windows 7.  Obvioulsy they want people to upgrade to Windows 8.1, so I doubt they will do it, even if they could.  The apps would need to run within an emulator I would imagine, much like BlueStacks works.
  • Sorry, but you guys are missing a key point: Windows 8 apps are built upon WinRT, not .Net.  The WinRT framework is in Windows 8 only, and is not and will not be backported to Windows 7.  So please, stop with this "if Windows 7 only had the Windows Store" nonsense.
  • Yes, understood. But Daniel is a developer (I believe), so it is an interesting thought. It would technically challenging, but I am sure it can be done. However, I don't think that is the route they would take. They need to make Windows 8.1/9.0 enticing enough to get desktop diehards willing to upgrade. To do that, they need to make a new and improved Windows 7, with access to Store apps and the ability to completely do away with the Start Screen, if that is what you want. I don't, but there are a lot of people that do.
  • I'm not as developer, just a surface 2 owner, windows phone owner and a Windows 8.1 non tiouch laptop owner. I would like more apps on my surface 2, it is difficult for Microsoft to get people to write Metro apps, when 80% of windows machines, i.e. windows 7 machines cannot run Metro apps. Ideally everyone would upgrade, but that isn't happening. It was just a thought of widening the potential number of users by make metro apps work on Windows 7. I would think that this would drive app development and maybe drive Windows 8.1 sales too.
  • And what you just described IS Windows 8.1.  It IS a "new and improved Windows 7."  I know plenty of individuals who have refused to even look at Windows 8, let alone 8.1.  I show them everytime, and they all get onboard.  Too many damn times, there is this echo chamber where negative perceptions ring out through the Interwebz, and too many times people formulate opinions without research or doing their due diligence.
  • MS should really change the old, grey, ancient look when you right click. There is no reason why the whole desktop cannot be updated, including icons. The difference between Metro and the dektop is very jarring, probably why a lot of people don't like it that much. The look should be unified. Full disclosure: I love my Windows 8, inclduing my Surface but that needs to be updated.
  • Yes, the desktop could do with a lot more Modern UI touches. Possibly with a 'classic' theme that can be enabled for people who prefer the standard look and feel.
  • That will obviously change in the final stages.  Windows 9 isn't scheduled to come out soon and all the final GUI stuff happens at the end.
  • I couldn't agree more
  • My thoughts exactly.
  • That I can completely agree with.  There are TOO many damn design elements still present in Windows 8.x, that Microsoft should have eliminated back with Windows 7 was introduced. I remember someone writing up a blog years ago showing what Metro was going to look like with the Zune 4.x client, yet that framework was dijointed form the rest of the OS, let alone other elements of the OS in some areas (context menu was the most glaring difference.)
  • This actually makes sense. I couldnt see how pinning apps to the taskbar would be useful unless it ran in the desktop.
  • I feel Microsoft could have done it better from beginning, instead of driving in weird zig zag... its looking nice, I mean, its useful to use Win8 apps in fullscreen but also sometimes you want to be able to switch faster between win8 apps and desktop apps.
    Still I think there is alot of weird things to think about when it comes to Windows Store and all that. hope we can get soon this update, even if its a leaked version to try in a Virtual Machine, to see if many things feel good or awkward.
  • Usually these revolutions require taking it all the way in one direction, gauging reaction, and then finding a nice compromise. Otherwise if you try to find the compromise first you may not go as far as your users will let you go, and you miss the opportunity to educate users on a new way of doing things.
  • Wow... Probably the best visualization of the path Microsoft took. Good explanation!
  • Thanks :) It's a pattern used in many industries, for example even in acting if you are required to do a radical or intense scene, the director will prefer you to go over the top to start with so they can ask you to dial it back a bit, rather than struggle to get you to go far enough.
  • but how does this benefits me and alot of consumers? I understand what you mean... but still lets put it this way. WinRT yeah its supposed to be better for battery life = tablets and phones, and how it manages multitasking and all that.
    But if Win8 apps run on desktop now, how would that benefit? why some developers would spend time making a win8 app? for RT users that arent many?
    it would have been better to improve Win32 to match what they try to make with WinRT, then make a store with apps (Win32 apps) that are touch optimized. so apps would have been forced not to be ported over WinRT but just change UI and optimize it for tablet users, add gestures and all that. I dont mind if they add a button or apps now run on desktop or they delete start screen and replace it with a new meny (ok, I would care and probably be mad to keep using windows because it would mean they cant make something and stay there) but Im talking more about the benefits in Win8 apps vs desktop apps, especially now that Win8 apps can run on desktop...
    why would you pay an account and sell an app and give 30/20% to Microsoft when you can just use desktop? Windows RT doesnt allow desktop apps but its not popular enough to do that either. so again, this Zig Zag doesnt seem to be the best, especially for tablet users who depend on a store that could just not grow as expected because of these decisions. but of course its my point of view, and of course my not positive brain to developers who can/will ignore WinRT.
  • No, you misunderstand what this change means. Just because an app can run on desktop doesn't mean it's a desktop app and runs just like a desktop app. The multitasking and sandboxing are completely abstracted from the Desktop window manager. Windows 8+ has two primary software types: desktop apps, which can be built in any language and any compiler as long as they are executable by Windows; these apps run in the old window manager (aka multitasker and window layout provider) which is now know as Desktop. Then there are Store apps, which must be compiled in a certain way and are sandboxed so they can only access certain data, and they are also managed by a new window manager which is now effectively the master (as the Desktop window manager is just another 'window' in this new fullscreen-only window manager). This new window manager handles the multitasking on the side view and also handles suspending and resuming Store apps. It gives priority to the Desktop window so that is never suspended. So the primary change here is simply that they have allowed the Desktop window manager to create windows that are 'portals' to the new window manager. These apps are still running exactly the same as before and are still controller by the new WM, including suspension and efficient multitasking. But the Desktop has a window that 'attaches' to the Store app, tells it which size to render at and passes input to it, and then renders the pixels that the app sends back. It's a bit complex, but effectively the desktop apps will be a 'portal' to the existing store apps, similar to how video is not actually rendered as part of the application's UI but instead is rendered on your graphics card and then combined with the UI without you knowing (remember how you never used to be able to take screenshots of video with the PrintScreen button? This was why). Developers are notoriously lazy. I'm allowed to say that because I'm one myself. If Microsoft had followed the approach that you're suggesting then it would have been very hard to get them on board and update their software to be touch friendly -- just like it still is now, there are so many touch laptops around but developers are still not updating desktop software to be touch-friendly. What Microsoft needed to do (and they did) was to say 'here's the new way of doing apps, you don't have a choice if you want to target our new devices'. This forces the developers to pay attention, and look what a raging success the Windows Store is now (fastest growing app store, faster even than Windows Phone, and has official apps like Facebook for tablet that even Android doesn't yet have). Despite 'popular' opinion RT is actually doing really well, especially since 8.1 and the Surface 2. People are starting to realise that it actually pretty much is 'full windows' without desktop apps (just think of the incredible built in driver support for tablets that have USB inputs), and OEMs are also starting to cotton on too.
  • no, YOU misunderstood what i mean. I know what a desktop is... I have used windows since 3.11 and I even used DOS first than that... you just didnt understand what I tried to say and then just wrote alot of things I already know. My point its if Microsoft doesnt know what to do, because people complain so much about WinRT and fullscreen apps and how they are touch blabla. why didnt they instead of creating WinRT, didnt just bring those nice features to Win32? if desktop is so important and now they want Win8 apps running on desktop LIKE if it was a Win32 app, why they just didnt make Win32 efficient enough for tablets instead of creating WinRT? again, they could have created a store of, in this case, Win32 apps (since in my example WinRT never existed) and then make developers have their apps touch optimized to appear in store, that means they wouldnt have to port the whole app, but just change the UI. that would have made the ecosystem grow easily and faster than waiting for Win8 apps to appear in store. and what I mean about developers not wanting to develop for WInRT, its simple... again, if most users are desktop users and store IS NOT FREE (since you have to give Microsoft some % of your sales) why would you build an app for it? if you can make a desktop app and just make it touch optimized? of course it wouldnt have live tiles or anything like that, but again, if Win32 had those features WinRT has, then store would have grown faster.
    of course this is a dream, and just a thought, because honestly there is no benefit of having WinRT, but it would be nice to have Win32 apps running on ARM tablets (touch optimized of course) and of course there is no much we can do now, just wait for Microsoft to finally merge Windows Phone with Windows 8, because again, developers are lazy and they dont like to develop practically 2 apps for windows 8 tablets and phones, and of course extend more WinRT to the point it will make developers replace their evelopment from Win32 to WinRT...
    of course the negative its again, WInStore isnt free... while Win32 is pretty much open and you dont have to give Microsoft anything, and you can download the app from anywhere. again, my point its why instead of making WinRT, Microsoft didnt take advantage of WIi32 already existing with thousands of apps. becuase if they still think desktop is so important to bring WinRT apps to run on desktop environment... well that means they could have done the same with Win32 and developers and everyone would be happy because their apps can be easily ported, full featured, to ARM tablets and have an optmized touch UI again, this is just a complain because i think Microsoft, and while I like WinRT features... could have taken better decisions instead of zig zaging trying to find how to find the path that will finally make Windows be good for desktop and tablets. just look at search, it was amazing in Win8.0, but they radically change it in win8.1 and now I dont use it much. because I just dont like it.
    I know sometimes stuff its changes, especially if Microsoft wants to build a new WinRT and UI to try to fuse desktop and tablet, but sometimes MS could have avoided so many routes to get to your destination. again, this is a hopeless wish, because I know past cant be changed. but I still think they could have made Windows 8 better, doing similar thing, but different.
    now its just about wait for Mircrosoft to take good decisions. you say something interesting " 'here's the new way of doing apps, you don't have a choice if you want to target our new devices'"... exactly my point, I wish they didnt have to have a "new way" and just the old Win32 way, and just say "just make your UI touch optimized and it will be the best for desktop and tablet users"
    because honestly, there is alot of good and amazing Win32 apps, that will never be ported to WinRT, so my point its how I wished Microsoft would have taken advantage of already exisiting Win32 instead of making WinRT . but again, this is just a dream. and our conversation will be always a circle because past cant be changed and we just can see the leaks and think Microsoft is trying to make everyone happy, and we dont know the future.
  • Ok sorry, the way you worded it made it sound like you though touch apps were becoming desktop apps.
    All revolutions cause unrest, and have to then be tweaked and fine tuned to suit the new market they have created. This is no different.
    There is already a lot of code share between phone and tablet, provided you start it that way. If you write and app solely for one system then yes, you will have to port it, but if you plan it properly then there is a lot of shared code. And this will get closer between phone and tablet in the coming months. Your solution of Win32 touch apps would mean almost zero code share.
    One thing I hope is never code-shared 100% is the UI code. Phone and tablet UIs are radically different and should remain that way.
    Regarding payment, no you don't have to give MS 30%. That's only if you choose to operate the purchase via the Store. Microsoft have intentionally written the rules so that you can use your own payment method if you want -- PayPal, or your own payment server, or whatever -- and you do that exactly as you would with any other software: provide a free download and then activate the product on payment.
  • Yeah I forgot you can avoid the 30% to microsoft, but I guess some developers forget about it too, I have heard some guys talking about it. Win32 touch apps, are just a dream, and easy way to have a big store, to be able to use apps like xbmc, mediaportal, 3dsmax, lightwave, and any other cool desktop app, without waiting for a port that will never or will take years to come (just look at VLC and their lovely port) But I know the benefits of using WinRT, I like it, although store isnt as big yet as we wish, like yesterday I was thinking all the emulators I can run in Windows 8 (desktop) vs Windows 8/RT app store. I know the share code is important, but we still havent seen real benefit on it, have we? thats why I thought about the win32 option as an hypothetical dream. because until Microsoft doesnt allow 1 app for everywhere and then only modify UI depending on the target device we wont see the benefit of it.
    although I know alot of apps that are easy target to Windows 8 after windows phone, or viceversa still it should be easy for developers, just like iOS or Android. of course they dont have a real desktop offering like windows 8 does.
    But I hope the merge happens soon! again, all we can do its hope everything goes fine with windows and store, and this Win8 apps running on desktop would be good and not bad. Im sure some developers would think "why WinRT if Win32 is still important that Microsoft now allows it to run within desktop environment?" but I know some developers would take advantage of it and say "why Win32 if we can use WinRT and already have our apps in tablets?" but again, without the real merge windows 8, Windows Phone. we wont still see the benefit of share code... like whatsapp, why dont we have whatsapp in windows 8? or why dont we have remote control from Microsoft in windows Phone? or kik? because its still not write once, modify UI and publish for your target device.
  • Windows is all layered, so what's the the big issue? Other than trying to implement a different UX with the full screen metro.
  • Cool 80's Guy:  "Mmmm...  Metro!!"
    Cool 80's Gal:  "Mmmm...  Desktop!!"
    <<Windows 8.1 - Update 1>>
    Cool 80's Guy:  "Hey!!"
    Cool 80's Gal:  "Oh... Hey, you've got your Metro in my Desktop!!"
    Cool 80's Guy:  "You've got your Desktop in my Metro!!"
    Both:  "What???  Delicious!!"
    Announcer:  "Two great UI's that taste great together!"
  • Peanut butter = good. Chocolate = good. Peanut butter + Chocolate = revolting. I've tried those peanut butter cups and they're really sickly and awful. Even peanut butter M&M's are sickly. It might be better with proper chocolate though...
  • Interesting, though after trying ModernMix I feel like I don't use the feature so much...
    Still good to have the choice! Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • Indeed, the key here is choice. Let the people decide how they want to use Windows 8 and don't force them one way or another. Over time people will transition into the new way of interacting with Win8, but it has to be a transition, not a push like Win8 tried to be.  
  • B....B...But....where are all the whiners complaining to have their old start menu back.  i seriously cannot stand these people that refuse to upgrade their OS because the legacy start menu has changed. Its a faster, more secure, and more user friendly OS, download and install a 3rd party menu, but upgrade, its worth it.
  • +720, I agree with u, some ppl dont wanna change .Maybe they arent more technology lovers and want their os to be simple. And it only happens when MS tried to innovate the os design just not like apple that anything they design will be great why coz "its apple" bullshit ppls
  • The whiners are not complaining but why are you?
  • I agree 100%. The desktop and start menu has never seemed more boring. I love the start screen :-D
  • Bring that menu back will ya?
  • The plot thickens! Very interesting move. I'm very keen to see where this all leads to once we get to Build...
  • Wow this is gonna be incredible!
  • So are these like the win 7 widgets, that sit on the background? Either way, looks like an interesting implementation!
  • Now just give me the ability to float live tiles on the desktop (as gatgets in win7) and I will be ready to put Win8 on all my desktops and not just use it on Surface or in VMware.  
  • YES - THIS ^^^^^^^^^^^ I also want an option to make live tiles larger, and ineractive with a mouse / touch.  I should be able to make my mail tile larger, I should be able to scroll through notifications, etc. on it.  I should be able to play a file from the xbox music tile, or skip ahead, etc all on the tile, without completely opening the app. Similar to widgets in Android, but better because its full blown windows.
  • This will be good for business and laptops and desktops without touchscreens. Microsoft just made their own surface and other touch windows tablets just a bit messier. There will probably be an 8.2 right around the corner.
  • Not necessarily. W8 can already detect between mouse click and touch, or mouse movement and touch movement, and offer different UI paradigms accordingly (consider the new multitasker and the corner hotspots vs gestures for example, also see the difference between right clicking on a pinned task bar item and long-pressing on it; mouse interaction shows a compact menu, touch interaction has a lot of extra spacing). So in this new update I would expect that a long-press on tiles would still show the application bar at the bottom, whereas a right click will show the mouse-friendly bar. And the same for all other new 'mouse-friendly' interactions.
  • Sounds better. Let's hope so.
  • Can we also have the option to run legacy desktop applications in Metro windows? I prefer the Metro way of multitasking, and I would really like it if I could multitask in that way with desktop stuff. It's so annoying when I have multiple Word Docs open... I keep going to the top left corner to pull up the multitasking pane, and then realizing, "Oh wait, I have to use the taskbar, damn it..."
  • Do you know that Metro is an extension to the Win32 paradigm? It's easy to make a Metro app behaves like a regular application, but not the other way
  • MS could run each legacy app in its own virtual desktop space as a maximized window (no Windows Explorer running, so no desktop background) and get the effect SwimSwim, I, and other want. A new Win32 API could be introduced so that each app could specify whether it supports this mode (i.e. apps with lots of little windows open may not work right) as well as allowing for some minimal Live Tile features for legacy apps. That's how you properly blend Modern and Legacy, not by butchering modern apps to run them on the legacy desktop.
  • No, the issue is that the desktop window manager is now 'within' the 'metro' window manager. It's easy to provide the inner WM with framebuffer access to the outer one, but a little harder to allow windows from the inner to break out into the outer. Especially as a lot of desktop software is not designed to run full screen.
  • Why not just allow several instances of the desktop to allow this? It's already possible to have several and independent desktops via multiple monitors, so why not just do something similar to that? So I could just have one instance of the desktop open for every desktop window I could desire to use. I see no use in reinventing the wheel. I don't want desktop apps to behave like Metro apps, not at all. I simply want several desktops open at once, each displaying its own thing with its own programs open (again, much akin to how multi-monitor support already works). In essence, I want to have Microsoft enable multi-monitor support for one screen.
  • What you're talking about is workspaces, and can be really handy. Other OSes have them and yep, it would be a great feature for Windows.
  • It's fine as long as they don't go away with the start screen and the Metro UI. I think lots of folks like it starting with me. Like I posted on the forums, the rumors of this update forcing you to boot up to the desktop scare me!
  • Don't you just hate it when people hold back all progress because they refuse to understand the benefits of using 5% of that dormant brain power to go back to first grade and learn to swipe instead of clicky clicky with the mouse on the desktop. Sure this will quiet the bitching and moaning and increase the sales and make a lot of people happy, but its the very reason we never get anything new. The desktop is cool, but it came to computers 30 years ago. Can't we let it go. "But why can't we have both?" You don't need both, you need better! "Drops Mic, steps of soapbox, puts on trol vest. Let er rip!" Lol. I can't take it.
  • I agree with you. I enjoy Windows 8.1 with or without a keyboard and a mouse. How hard is it to move that cursor to a corner?? Why are some people resistant to change? With this move I'm afraid that Microsoft WILL look confused and prove that Tim Cook was right!!
  • Tim Cook WAS right, Microsoft just took their time to prove him right!! TBH Update 1 is going nowhere near any of my devices, period.
  • They need to Metrofy the desktop more. Flatter colors just don't seem to just make it match imo. I'd never use it, I don't have problems on my desktop using keyboard and mouse.
  • Oh god please don't screw this up Microsoft. This has potential for a lot of confusion. Now you don't have a clear distinction between Metro and Desktop anymore, but two kinds of windows that work differently but look similar because it's all mixed together. I like the way it works in Windows 8.1 so far, the desktop is not ready to be merged with Metro until they share the same design, dialogs and settings.
  • Why do you want metro and desktop separated? It's a big reason why W8 app ecosystem didn't take off. They are hidden from desktop users who are the majority of W8 users.
  • How, exactly, does booting to desktop by default and making the Start Screen less and less a part of the core experience (like the rumored future new start menu) get desktop users to explore and use windows 8 apps? I don't see how running them in a window helps. People need to be learning to use the desktop LESS, not MORE.
  • MS learned people don't like change. That's why they're bringing apps to desktop. They just need to bring live tiles to desktop and make desktop more metro.
  • I hope the shut down button will not be there. Imagine how many times you miss the search button and shut down your computer, with thinger the chance gets doubled. Also, I wonder why the start screen is cropped from the bottom side. "Strange something I see" :D
  • why would you press the search button instead of just typing and triggering the search function to startup automatically?
  • I will start typing, but on desktop only. On tablet I have to tap the button first. And sometimes I may click it on the desktop as well, why not. It's button, it's there to be pressed. But putting these two buttons together is not wise. I can imagine that by clicking on the shut down button the flyout with options will appear, but it is strange to have these two together when it increases chances to mistakenly select the other one than user wants.
  • So the desktop currently in windows 8.1 is an app and they can now run apps in this app...sounds neat. I love my surface 2, dell laptop running 8.1 and my lumia 920 but they need to make windows look better as in the UI transitions etc. Its got to look Where's Flipboard for WP8. Think I'll try the 1520 phablet looks great.....
  • That´s wrong. Metro Ui is an Program on Desktop "Full Screen Program". And it runs in Context of Explorer Shell. Mark Russinovich told this in one of his Video Sessions.
  • I think it's time to move to Mac... :/
  • why would you move to mac? its not like you cant customize windows with 3rd party apps if necessary, its not easy to keep changing and changing, but it doesnt sound smart to drop alot of money in a new computer to use a OS that isnt great, its boring and doesnt give you technology like touchscreens, tablets and desktops with the same OS, and sometimes you wont even get the same programs or games you get on windows, and sometimes if you do, the mac version is buggier than the Windows version. and Apple stops supporting OSs so fast you are forced to upgrade because your app wont run in the version you just got, like happened with last OSX update, alot of programs and plugins I used needed to be updated just for that.
    of course its my experience but you could also choose to keep using win7 until win8/9 finally stays in a point where changes arent like going in a zig zag.
  • or Linux :-/
  • Yeah, don't you remember the gnome3 story? They completely changed gnome and removed lots of functionality, at least with w8, 99% of things that worked on previous windows still work and are to be found as,expected from before. Thanks, but I'll pass on Linux
  • Actually I do, GNOME 3 is utter rubbish but if you're tech savvy enough you'll know that you aren't restricted to GNOME as the desktop environment ;-)
  • Maybe, if they enable real multi tasking in metro apps. Its just amazingly stupid that Skype stops and Pandora in IE stops once its tabbed out! Windows was what introduced multi-taking to consumers, and Ms killed it in Windows 8
  • Anything that puts an end to the jumping between environments is good in my book.
    And if that contributes to put away the Start screen for good, even better.
  • Then why didn't you just stay on Windows 7? Or boot up straight to the desktop and bypass the start screen all together?
  • Because of the new securities (I use Pro) and the integration with SkyDrive and Office 2013. If it wasn't for that I would have returned to W7 ;) And I boot up directly to desktop. But without the start menus I'm still forced to jump to the Start Screen (or clutter desktop with icons which I don't like. I like clean environments)
  • Agree.
  • Looks like the top bar only appears whn you hover on the top of the screen with a mouse.  It appears to overlay the Weather app, if you compare it to the current Weather app in 8.1.
  • No, no, no. This is messy as f* and I will not allow this update to Windows 8.1 on my PC. I may be a huge Microsoft fan and developer for the phone and 8 platforms but these "bolt ons" aren't helping Microsoft, they are screwing up what they set out to do. If they are going to have metro context menus, make them look metro. Ripping the crap context menu styling from desktop and slapping it into metro is the stupidest idea I've ever seen.
  • Exactly how I feel, Microsoft take one step forward and then 50,000,000 steps back because of users who CBA to learn!!
  • You're not seeing it in the right context. MS need to make Win8 work for the majority of their user base, which are both business and end users (like grandma) who have become happy with Xp and Win7. They have failed with that. Practically everyone I know, who is not some kind of geek or teck savvy type, hate Win8. MS need to sell this product, and that means making it more appealing primarily for Win7 users.
  • So basically Microsoft is going the same ole stuff. Nobody likes metro. Its useless to me. I like the old desktop. And there has always been a way to go full screen in windows. When did that change? We could already put the weather on the desktop. Just load full windows on the phone already and add more memory! Then all we need is an app to make calls and send text msgs. Why do they make these pretty little gimmicks just to back track?
  • So downgrade to Win7 and be done with it. Stardock already ran Metro apps in Windows, so this is simply integration long overdue. And I am surely one of millions using Windows 8.1 who do not enjoy being lumped into your "nobody."
  • So because metro is useless to you nobody likes it, way to go insulting those of us who decided to learn how to use Windows 8 properly rather than complain!!
  • But you are (as I am) an absolute minority, don't you see?
  • Color me excited. Going to be a long month waiting. 1 question: As this is being touted as an update more akin to a service pack, will we need to reinstall legacy programs as in the past?
  • You didn't need to reinstall legacy apps when you upgraded from 8.0 to 8.1. So you shouldn't for just an update to 8.1.
  • Now bring the live tiles to the desktop and we're all set!
  • I just want to keep my live tiles.
  • From the looks of it, it still fails to marry the two environments from aesthetic POV. The taskbar should look like the Outlook/SkyDrive/People toggle menu on the site. And the right mouse menus should be identical to the press/hold menus in Metro. While I appreciate the functional merging of the two,they really need to get the design language synchronized as well. Otherwise it just looks like flattened Aero.
  • I want that menu at the top to populate (pop up) when you mouse over it.  That way it doesn't take away from the look of the metro app. I also think that there should be an option in the charms menu to switch between touch and mouse based use.  This would change how the OS operates instantly. I think running apps on the desktop is a good idea as we slowly get more and more to the start screen.
  • Couldn't agree more! Windows 8 has been great so far and is a pleasure to use. No going back for me since I'm used to getting things done at a faster pace than in 7. I suppose its harder for businesses'/enterprises to switch their infrastructure since it means people will have starting troubles. But i think once they get used to it they'll be working more efficiently. XP users need to make their mind up soon..
  • I think this direction might acutally work. I am skeptical but this shows some promise.
  • That screen could easily be the taskbar enabled on the start screen like many start menu apps can do, not metro apps on the desktop, but time will tell, personally I think metro is useless on a pc but hey ho, keep building your house on quicksand MS, it's your house
  • What about tablet users who are going to have boot to desktop by default and this clusterfuck forced on us, but I guess we are just a minority so we really don't matter. Personally I want a consistant UX across devices not one device booting to the desktop and one device using the Modern UI!!
  • Personally, I don't care about Mod apps on the desktop. But, more choice is always better.
  • Good for Microsoft. I think they can give us the choice between normal Apps mode (no live tiles) on desktop or livetiles Apps options over the metro UI. Verygood Microsoft.
  • Great - first work on the meaningful changes, then replace them with old stuff that you got rid off. Metro with desktop = mess, people are so lazy I just don't understand why they won't change (makes me wonder why they agreed to change horses for cars, I mean the horse was something that everyone was familiar with, why change that ?). And why exactly do they scream 'bring back the infamous power button' ? Those are not PC's of old years when you had to manually turn off your machine, those are devices where you can turn off the screen and leave the device idle/ready or hold the power button at the side to completely reset the system. Where's the need to go inside the options and confirm your decision to turn it off ? It'll be the same story as always - Microsoft releases something new (Vista & 8) and people cry murder, they slightly tweak their system to make it look fresh again (7 & 9) and people love it. Sure, slap some more of that Windows 7 (that I ate for so long) on my Windows 8 plate and Windows 9 will be delicious. "No ma'am I don't want a different dish, this food suits me" (even though 7.0 was just a Vista with makeup).
  • So where's the metro app running in a "contained" window? The 2nd and 3rd pictures just show the usual metro app except it's on desktop. I don't see any example showing a resizable Metro app running on desktop.
  • I can't understand why they are making efforts towards suing stuff in desktop mode. It should be th opposite! But well, people have a hard time accepting change, they'd be on XP if it was for them...
  • I've tried combining old Windows with new Windows on my work PC by snapping the new Mail app to the right 20% of my second screen, so I can always see my mails and do quick replies easily. The basic idea is very sound, but it's limited by how this layout configuration is not persistent and a whole lot of things can make the Mail app stop being snapped and then it quickly becomes a chore of having to resnap the app constantly. So I kinda stopped doing it, even though it offered real advantages. In that sense, Microsoft working to make Metro apps as floating windows is a bit of a regression; I'd rather have them work on making a snapping principle work better in old Windows. I really believe that a well-done layout of cards, slices or a 2D grid can be superior to the 'floating window' UI paradigm. Because, be honest, how often do you work with non-full screen windows? 80% of my day is spent staring at 2 full screen "windows"; combinations of Visual Studio, SQL Management Studio, Outlook, Notepad++ and such. The only applications that I frequently used windowed are Notepad and the file explorer. Many inexperienced people don't even grasp how windows work, the only thing they know is the full screen application in front of them, which they then close if they want to do something else. Microsoft has an opportunity here to redefine how applications position themselves on your screen, to offer superior multitasking with apps that have responsive UIs (use Mail at 20% snapped and it only shows a column of emails) and that adapt to how you position them. I really think that given a few years to evolve and if Microsoft stops with the backpedaling it could be a way more productive way to do multitasking than the fumbling we now do with floating windows. Give me something grid-based, where I can snap various UI components to positions, where those positions are remembered and where those UI components adapt their layout to their sizes (unlike virtually all old style Windows applications). It should allow you to create different workspaces, ie: different grid configurations for different situations that you can easily switch between. My ideas are rather vague, but I think the potential is there. I think it's rather odd that the Metro UI was criticized for mainly offering full screen applications, when that's often how we use old style Windows as well. Don't get me wrong, I do think old Windows is still a lot more productive than Metro apps, but I don't think it has to be. And I think it's pretty telling how *the* lauded feature of Windows 7, aside from general stability and performance improvements over Vista, was the fact that you could now easily snap two windows to the sides of your screen with Windows Snap. That's how we want to use applications; we don't *really* use floating windows. We have big screens with high resolutions (in a few years, I doubt you'll see many desktop systems with screens smaller than 25" and resolutions lower than 4k) but we don't make very good use of them.
  • Hell yeah I'm excited. New windows love forever. Well, don't know about that. Lolzz!
  • This looks incredibly awful. They need more Modern UI-inspired Applications like Office 2013 and MS Visual Studio. As it stands now, they can't copy/paste their mobile design onto the desktop, when the problem people are having is their mobile design, not being away from the desktop.
  • Fake apps on desktop come in windows 9 threshold
  • Apps not designed for a Mouse and Keyboard paradigm are being shoehorned into the desktop? Tell me, how does this make sense? It'll still be just as bad/good when used by a KB+M setup.   The entire premise of Windows 8 was to use the OS as whichever user you were. If you stuck to desktop, you'll be stuck on the desktop for everything. If you were using a tablet or hybrid, you can go touch and just stay in touch. The Start Screen acts a bridge between the two paradigms.
  • I have this feeling of apps running like desktop backgrounds, anyone?
  • i think most of the updates are a good idea as it brings metro closer to replacing the desktop apps with mouse any keyboard use but i hope ms have a way of hiding the bars ect when using touch screen. i have always thought windows 8 was a good starting point for microsoft and 8.1 is great but the next release looks even better. keep it up Microsoft
  • Gold jacket green jacket who gives a shit.....
  • please like my page :- Windows news
  • This looks terrible
  • Wow, someone shows a screenshot of something you can alreaðy do with Stardock's Modernmix applicatiœn.
  • If these changes do happen in Windows 8.1 update 1, then I'm surprised they didn't call it Windows 8.2. Calling it Windows 8.2 also seams "cleaner" to me. I hope update 1 brings with it more modern ui replacements for legacy apps. I dont like jumping between the two interfaces to get things done. Windows 8.1 was a step in the right direction, but still some way to go.
  • I think Microsoft has this all worked out rather nicely. Microsoft had to release Windows 8 to be counterintuitive to mice/keyboard users to change the computer marketplace. Manufacturers have been rather spoiled with no drastic increase in hardware requirements since Win 7. Now, when a new OS comes out, they distribute it to their existing systems and nothing much changes. Not like back when Windows XP came out requiring a graphics accelerator (oh yeah, those use to be optional for games) or Windows 95 requiring CD-Roms, which were pretty damn expensive back then. Anyway, people bought Win8 and hated metro! They stuck with the traditional desktop and their traditional apps, but had to deal with metro bring crammed down their throats at start up. A constant reminder of "Look what you could be doing with the right hardware." Cue the manufacturers to scramble, pushing out touch screens on all devices to cover their asses, no longer just tablets. MS lets this go on long enough before it gets to polarizing their user base and gives the old desktop users a bone to log in straight to their desktops, BUT! Still no start menu. Metro's starting to look pretty good on the otherside though. I walked into a best buy the other day and started laughing. Only 3 laptops on display that didn't have touch screens. Where did all the non touch devices go? They were so expensive before! Now there's 6 $350 touch laptops on the same shelf now! Oh Microsoft, you manipulative bastard. You never wanted to kill off the desktop, you've just been working over the hp's and the Toshiba's (who, if you remember, said they would not make a tablet or touch device when Win 8 came out [WEB OF LIES!]). Good play, MS, good play. Now corral your herd and have Windows 9 make best use of what will be the next required hardware: Touch screens.
  • *sigh* 8 was heading for the future...
  • I don't get all the comments about faster switching. With the start menu, you either clicked the button or hit the Windows key. With Modern UI, you either click the button or hit the Windows key.
    And the Alt+TAB etc. switching still works as before. Also, with the button cclick or key press, you got the menu, now you get the start screen.
    Am I missing something here..?! All those still moaning "Waaaaaahhh! I want my start menu back!" should be taken out and shot.
  • If u do not have a touch screen computer ur living in the stone age period...
  • Excited?.. F*CK YEA I AM!...  
  • finally they managed to copy modern mix from stardock which can run metro app from desktop. good joke. Posted via the WPC App for Nokia 3310!
  • Does the update 1 work fine on kms(key management system) activated windows 8.1 ????
  • kinda cool.