Windows 8.1 Update 1 rumored release date gets more specific, no mini-Start Menu in sight

The first minor update heading to Windows 8.1, known as Update 1, is suspected to be bringing more unity between the legacy desktop and newer Windows 8 application environment. In recently leaked screenshots by hacker WZor, we were able to take a brief look at the ability to pin Windows Store applications to your taskbar. The update previously rumored to be coming out this March, has received more confirmation – including an exact date.

According to technology journalist, Marry Jo Foley and her sources, the Windows 8.1 Update 1 will be released as part of a Patch Tuesday update through Windows Update. The exact date, said to be provided by her “accurate and trusted sources,” is March 11. Between WZor confirming March for the launch month and Marry Jo Foley now confirming the date – we believe the information is highly accurate.

Rum'o'meter 9/10

In addition to being able to pin Windows 8 applications to your desktop’s taskbar, additional screenshots have begun to show the ability to display thumbnail previews of the running application along with the ability to close the apps directly from the desktop via a “close box”.

For fans of the Windows Phone operating system (essentially, everyone reading this article), the date of March 11 places the Windows desktop update only a few weeks before the Windows Phone 8.1 update is supposed to kick off. While the times are still possibly weeks apart, we are beginning to see a unification of update release dates between the two operating systems.

For those of you who are excited that a closer releases date might mean the two operating systems are closer together in terms of programmer aspects, Mary Jo Foley reports that her sources make it sounds as if “there won’t be application programming interface changes made to Windows 8.1 Update 1 to bring it into closer alignment with Windows Phone 8.1”. It doesn’t take rocket scientists from NASA to figure out that the two separate operating systems are beginning to catch up and converge, but we still won’t be there this March.

In regards to what is being called the “Mini Start Menu”, which is rumored to appear in a future Windows update, Mary Jo Foley states that she heard nothing on the topic and believes it to “show up some time in the next 12 months” – possibly as Windows 8.1 Update 2 or Windows 9.

Windows 8.1 Update 1 should be just around the corner, so sit tight and it will be here soon.

Source: ZDNet

  • I hope they'll get around to removing the aero effects from,the desktop. It doesnt match well with the metro style. Its ok if they are two seperate environments. But metro icons wrapped in an aero taskbar just looks bad. Why not make the entire taskbar like they made the start icon? It doesnt have the aero borders.
  • -1 to removing aero  
  • YES! Some people thinks that Aero is just the Glass effect from Vista & 7... But it's not and you made the point that I also want. It's time for them to KILL Aero and bring to desktop/windows explorer the UI from Visual Studio and Office 2013 that I don't know how it's called. I think that interface match well with Metro.
  • You mean the Ribbon UI?
  • Don't know exactly... It's confusing because Ribbons itself is there since Office 2007, and then again on Office 2010... and again on Windows Explorer on Windows 8 and all this time the windows appearance was still Aero. So, personally, I don't how it's called.
  • Also thumbnail previews of my pictures in a folder would be nice again.
  • lol what?..... I see thumbnails in pretty much every folder in my pictures library
  • My folder settings were set to never show thumbnails by default. Crazy new computer. Crazy fast though.
  • that sounds something that shouldnt be disable by default O.o guess its oem computer? well its silly if they did that.
    when I disable every performance setting... even the nice live tile animations and charmbars, I always have to enable the thumbnails because its just too awkward to see my folders without them, and just a silly icon in every picture. at least you have now your thumbnails again! :)
  • Yes. Remove the Aero. Bring Windows back to the design language of Windows 95!
  • Yeah Good old windows 95!
  • Windows Millennium
  • "Oregon Breweries" is a great app if u ever visit the state with award winning breweries.
  • They did dramatically turn down aero, everything is much flatter in Windows 8. But they should remove some remaining elements that totally stick out like the analog clock, which looks like a Vista widget.
  • And make the desktop touch friendly. The desktop environment is very difficult to use on the Surface without whipping out the keyboard/trackpad.
  • I don't mind the flatter interface, and don't mind the removal of aero. What i do mind is the unintuitive UX elements i have seen in few places in Windows 8. Hate the scrollbars who disappear in metro, and are sometimes impossible to spot with light gray. Also to add insult to injury the scrollbars are transparent so on a grey  background not easy to see at all. It's perfectly fine if you are on touchscreen but many of us aren't.  Don't like that some actions are not buttons anymore. What happened with the nice old buttons, why in Win 8 desktop the new folder as example is not a  button to make it more prominent, this conflicts with the whole windows design principles. Also why remove the bing app for search in metro? My 70 old neighbrour got very annoyed that her easy way of searching the net with the bing app is now replaced by the search charm button which is not the same. Why remove functionality, if the app is not needed can be uninstalled by the users but do GIVE OPTIONS TO USERS, not take them away. I sometimes think that certain people at microsoft lack common sense.
  • I feel like the word "Phone" is missing from Mary's quote on potential system unity? Or am I just confused? Regardless lots of positive momentum on all forms of Windows (Phone) 8.1
  • You are correct, my oversight. Thanks Mr. Thunderbird!
  • Tight
  • Tight will be WP9.0❕ Imagine that..
  • I just wish we could snap the start. Make it appear vertical at that point too.
  • I need resizable window for the running apps. At the moment win 8.1 is eyesore, give us back clear type and smooth fonts. Give us color choices for icons, text and task bar text. Sometimes it is hard to read text on task bar. I will not ask anything after that.
  • Meshing desktop and metro seems messy to me; if you're on your desktop, like me, chances are you're not going to metro for anything other than to see the kool live tiles update; desktop gives more command of my gaming PC but I prefer metro on my Surface; thus either ship two skus or like I read somewhere, have the option to choose your environment permanently
  • "choose your environment permanently" why permanently, that would be stupid; just give an option to swich on/off the various features and let the consumer decide.  
  • Stupid huh? Can't you already disable boot to start? Choose default programs? Show start app list instead of start screen? Show desktop apps first?
  • He was calling the "permanent" part stupid, not the whole idea.
  • Permanent per log in else it makes no difference with the already existing customization in 8.1
  • +8.1. My thought exactly. There's really no reason why they can't set up a setting that lets you lock (and unlock)  your OS environment in Metro, Desktop, or a Hybrid Mode (giving you both). That would work best on Intel based computers/tablets. For RT, make full on Office Apps, a dedicated file explorer app and then get rid of the Desktop mode. If they're going to merge RT and WP, it would bring them that much closer and bring a new feature to WP when they do...  
  • I think that the only way they can legitimately combine both the Start Screen and Desktop is like this: 1) Have "Boot to Desktop enabled. 2) Have the start screen not overlap the taskbar, so when clicking on the start, it will be almost in full screen, but the taskbar will be visible. It will be just how start menu used to be, but waaayy wider. 3) Or give an option to make the start screen only take half the size with the taskbar visible too. It will still have the start menu feel, but at the same time, still having the live tiles.
  • March 11.... Prepare for Titanfall
  • they should put in the ability to pin live tiles to the desktop, similar to how gatgets work on windows 7; I like to see key things all the time and not have to go to start screen/metro to see updates on certain tiles.  
  • Accept this: <3
  • They should work on getting rid of all those Vista-esque icons and bring in more flat Windows 8 inspired ones for the love of Jesus Christ.
  • Scaling of icons is terrible too
  • Forget Vista-esque, there's still some 98-esque icons in there, especially in Internet Explorer.
  • Who cares about the mini-start menu
  • Personally I would love the ability to open metro apps while in desktop mode.
  • ModernMix does this :)
  • I actually don't understand the big deal really. I got a Surface Pro 2 over the holidays and im really enjoying my windows 8 experience. Once I figured out how to move around I honestly haven't missed the start menu at all. I have windows 7 on all of my other computers and all of the programs I run are pinned to the start bar anyway. The number of times I went into the start menu to launch anything was about nil. Besides, the type/search feature to run programs is literally badass. A few keystrokes and I'm running what I want, as opposed to searching though a stupid start menu
  • A voice of reason!
  • Yeah, I don't get it. With all my applications I use pinned to the task bar I've barely seen any kind of start menu since using XP. I only see the start screen on my desktop when I accidentally press the windows key.
  • Sigh. It is fruitless to argue with those who have no sense of what "design" actually is, isn't it?
  • ^this... Corporate devices are all Win7 with pinned apps, but personal devices are all Win8.1 either Surface Pro/RT or none touch desktops, hardly use the start button.
  • I am HAPPY as hell it's not another full on O/S install like 8.1 and will come through Windows update instead. 8.1 did my new laptop in with incompatible drivers. Had to start from scratch after it killed my machine.
  • Remove Areo? WT? Areo kicks Metro's A$$!!! You guys must be smoking crack.
  • You must have no taste.
  • MSFT isn't bringing WinRT and WinPRT closer together with W81/WP81? Sounds like they're in total panic mode on Win8 sales and had to drop everything to come up with a fix. There was a 20% drop in consumer OEM Windows (Win8) last quarter which was partially made up by "OEM Pro" Windows (likely businesses buying Windows 7 Pro machines - remember the HP ad?). When will they cut their losses on the WinRT disaster?
  • Mary Jo only has one "r"...
  • I think we know what the author, Michael's aspirations are. He wants to marry Jo Foley!
  • Hope they make WP8.1 available for dev unlocked devices just like GDR3
  • Just let me update OTA and not have to go through Verizon.
  • the interesting part were she says  windows phone 8.1 will be RTM just prior to build 2014 and devs will get early access  ..... i really hope so as for windows 8.1 update 1 i can't find my self pinning modern apps on task bar nor i need mini menu the current start screen prefect.
  • For people wanting to open Modern apps on the desktop isn't this just the opposite of what you are complaining about already?!