Yet another Windows 8.1 Update 1 build leaks on to the web – new surprises onboard

As the clock ticks forward, we move closer and closer to Windows 8.1’s first major collection of tweaks and fixes – Update 1. We have previously reported on the changes that the first Windows 8.1 update will bring to your PC, and moving forward, it appears all that we had reported can still be found in the latest leak to hit the internet. That is not all though, the leak contains a few new surprises and features.

As evident in the latest build, it appears that Windows 8.1 will boot to the desktop by default if the machine being used does not possess a touchscreen. If you are using a touch enabled device, then the boot up experience will remain the same and you will be booted to the Windows 8 Start Screen.

In regards to the Power and Search buttons that have been spotted on the Start Screen in previously leaked builds, it appears that the Power option will only be displayed to mouse and keyboard users who are not sporting a touch screen, while the Search option will be available to all. As with all builds, we cannot say if this is a permanent decision or simply an option being tested.

The new title bar that we have also seen in previously leaked screenshots will be enabled by default on non-touchscreen PCs, but will not be shown on touch-based devices; despite not automatically being shown, if you have a mouse or track pad with your touch device, you can hover over the top section of an app to have it displayed.

The newest surprise in the latest leaked build is the new option to hover over the bottom section of a metro application to have the legacy desktop taskbar appear. The taskbar can even be forced to appear on the Windows 8.1 Start Screen by using the same technique. Users will also notice the rebranding of SkyDrive to OneDrive across the entire operating system.

As we always say, this is simply a test build and settings are prone to change. The official build of Windows 8.1 Update 1 is expected to appear later this April after Build 2014.

What do you think of the latest additions to Windows 8.1 Update 1?

Source: The Verge

Michael Archambault
  • Change the icons in the desktop mode please!
  • +1520 MOAR METRO!
  • Yes please. I'd love a full 'Modern' icon set!
  • Its an obvious change, no idea why Microsoft won't do it and insist on leaving it looking like a complete mess.
  • That "mess" makes people more comfortable. I'm sure once the cry babies get used to win 8 that eventually they'll squeeze out the 7-like stuff out.
  • its not a mess... and you can change it yourself.
  • *rolling eyes* what about:
    Right click -> Personalize -> CHANGE DESKTOP ICONS -> you go there and do it yourself?
  • Sure it sounds easy but where are the MSFT designed Metro icons to replace them with. Oh that's right there are none.
  • thats I just gave you the way to do it yourself... complaining about icons in 2014, in windows, its like complaining about the default wallpaper an why Microsoft decided to put that thing as a default wallpaper, or lockscreen or starscreen background... you can change them by yourself. you dont need Microsoft, and the icons dont look bad anyway, but if you dont like them you can change them, like alot of things in Windows, even start screen. also people complained about alot of things, I dont want to imagine how much they would complain because "I cant find "my computer, I dont see the icon"" or some silly thing like that, since people seem to complain about small changes.
    hmm like do you remember aeroglass? even today in 2014 some people complain about win8 not having it. that was a useless and stupid UI, that looked bad in vista and win7, but people complain about it. so I expect people to complain about different icons and how they dont find what they are looking for.
  • Precisely. People confuse me. They want everything to be like 7, but want more flexibility than 7. Huge contradiction. If I were a developer at Microsoft, I'd feel like a dog that's being told to sit and roll over at the same time. Windows is the most customizable OS (besides Linux) on the market. If someone wants everything kind of preset in the background with little control over the OS, buy an overpriced Macbook.
  • _Emi_ you can't be serious? You suggest downloading a 3rd party program to change icons? You can't overhaul every os icon without it. And Microsoft did change their design , why would they not follow thru with it? Why couldn't Microsoft just not bring win8 UI at all since you should/could change all that anyway.. There is no point in Microsoft changing anything
  • no, YOU cant be serious, not reading exactly what I was saying.
    they are complaining about "desktop icons" there is a way... I explained step by step, how to change those icons, which has been done since... I dont really know what version since I dont change icons, but its been there for years.
    of course if you want to go deeper and change other icons you MAY need a 3rd party app, but for alot of icons you can do it within windows with no 3rd party app. and im not saying Microsoft shouldnt bring different icons, like what they did with Office 2013 for example, I want that, but they are focusing in other things, and again, if you want to change icons (because thats what they said and I quote "Change the icons in the desktop mode please!") it can be done by going (and I repeat) "Right click (on desktop) -> Personalize -> CHANGE DESKTOP ICONS -> you go there and end".
    even if you want to change wordpad icon, or notepad you dont need that either. so again, people can do it themselves if it bothers them vista/7 icons... the icons dont look too bad, they are ok, they work and people know them... its not like they are killing your cats.
    maybe when microsoft finishes FOCUSING in other more important things, they MAY change the icons.... maybe for win9?. but today is not the day for that... because its just not important today with all the big changes Microsoft is doing with just windows 8. but talking about 3rd party tools, honestly they can make the work easier in alot of things like tweaking windows, if you get the good tools. so you cant close your mind to that either... I never said you should use them, but I know some that might change icons fast and easy, so if you make a search bing or google, you can really easily find modern icons you can use... because again, if vista/7 icons bother you today, you can change it and dont wait Microsoft to do it.
  • Yeah, you clearly don't understand what the original point was.  It wasn't about picking what icons appear on the desktop, but changing the style of the icons to match the Metro style, rather than the full-colour, pseudo-3D ones we've had since XP. There is no way an average user should be expected to actually go and design a whole new icon set.
  • please... you dont even read my comment, read it again and think about it.
    wordpad and onenote arent on the desktop are they? (they could, by default they are in start screen)
  • _emi_ : desktop mode != desktop
  • do you think I love explaining things again? you need slow mode or something?
    because I clearly explained that I didnt mean just desktop, of course you can change recycle bin if you dont go where I said you should go, and my example was just one small way of customize windows, its not like you cant change other icons...
    because the other icons you can change them easily.... or Im making things up now? am I using a different version of windows or something? I will explain again... and hope you understand. 1. the first icons you see in "desktop mode" its DESKTOP. and YOU CAN change that, as I mentioned in my first comment.
    2. if you add shortcut to desktop... guess what? YOU CAN CHANGE THOSE TOO, of course you have to go to the proprieties of the shortcut, which EVEYONE should know about it by now.
    3. the ones in start screen like (and I mentioned those in my reply like WORDPAD and NOTEPAD) can be changed too, since they are shortcuts as well.
    4. folder icons can be changed inside windows with no 3rd party app as well.... so what I said, its if you wanted to DEEPLY make changes to windows, like harddrive icons (I guess since I have never changed those), and changing the themes more than what is OFFICIALLY allowed, you MIGHT need a 3rd party app, and thats only if YOU want it. so now tell me, whats the problem about it? you said "3rd party apps" now Im showing you you dont need them for alot of things, like changing icons in "desktop mode". or am I still making things up? the only ones I dont know about its explorer ribbon, most arent from win7 because win7 didnt have ribbon, they arent exactly flat but they arent exactly "vista/win7" ones, only the ones like recycle bin that its the same default one. but the new ones like select all, and new item and all that, they look OK to me, just normal. but I will go back to my point. Most icons can be changed, and you dont need a 3rd party app, if you want to change something and it needs more? well you can do it yourself or get a 3rd party app or whatever. but for the most part you dont need 3rd party apps or even Microsoft to make your computer look the way you want. or I guess im dreaming when I see something like this? or this or this or this or this or this oh want me to keep searching? or.... maybe you saw Windows 8 doesnt look like the first time you started it? and a simple search and bring flat icons or whatever you want. some people have done it themselves and post it in devianart for example. but basically what I mean its: 1. you feel bother by the icons or theme? then change it 2. you just want to complain about it and dont do anything about it? its your problem. 3. should Microsoft change the icons? yes they have to, but they arent so we will go back to point 2 and 1, stop complaining and do it yourself because it can be done, officially, with and without 3rd party apps.... it ca be done. ohhh and my final question, is this. isnt this "desktop mode" for you? or im still talking crap like if you were the one who knows more than me? or is this still just desktop to you?
  • Yeah, I would like to see the icons changed to a more "Live Tile" / Metro-esque design. Right now pinning desktop shortcuts looks too much like Android. I'm over that.
  • It's ALL desktop mode icons not just the 5 icons on the desktop. Folder icons and the different versions of it like compressed folders, picture and video folders etc, the recycle bin, Internet Explorer...the whole desktop environment looks like Windows 7 other than the flattening of the windows themselves. It looks like two different environments rather than one cohesive one. This should be part of the OS to complete the look and not have to have Stardock support to make the overall change. If it all looked like one environment perhaps people wouldn't complain about the "jarring" effect as much.
  • I probably know what you're talking about, but what are the "icons in the desktop mode", or as a reply mentioned, "a 'modern icon' set", and which screenshots it in?
    (sometimes I'm bad with remembering the terminology of things)
  • No.
  • I need that so much. They need to ditch those skeuomorphic icons to make them like Office 2013's ones.
  • I'm really sorry, but what the heck are you talking about with regard to desktop icons? What is so wrong with them that they need changing? The only icon I have on my desktop is the recycle bin, but it seems fine.
  • i replaced some of the desktop icons by myself, looks much better than the originals.
  • I like
  • I like the taskbar with the live tiles looks cool
  • Please tell me there will be an option to turn off boot to desktop
  • Well in windows 8.1 at the moment there is the option to boot to desktop or start so it's probably just the default being changed, not the feature being taken out.
  • There is already an option to choose your default boot mode (desktop or modern UI). Update 1 will simply make machines without a touchscreen boot to desktop by default as opposed to the modern UI. You will however be able to change the default should you want to.
  • Hopefully there will be options and settings for all of these. But over all, im glad with the approach they are taking of tweaking the UX to fit the actual input devices the user is using.
  • Someone link the build download to me!
  • If you can't find it, you don't need it.
  • Torrents aren't hard to find if you know what you're looking for.
  • As I predicted
  • These are obvious changes, and good. This whole topic has been an ongoing discussion at work, and these change more of less are what we came up with. We all like 8, but thrusting the touch mode on a system with no touch was stupid.
  • Wow, I just noticed that this was Tom's start screen. I knew it looked familiar!
  • How many browser does Tom need? Don't they all go the same place?
  • He's missing Opera, Safari and Chrome Canary. I have a minimum of 2 different browsers on the go every day, with 20-40 tabs open in each one. If I'm doing web development I'll have almost all of the browsers open and cycle between them.
  • So close... now they just have to make the Desktop taskbar more 'Metro' and the Start Screen can slowly begin to phase the Desktop out of existence. It's happening...
  • I'd like that too. I'm making a mock up for that, basically eliminating that taskbar and splitting it's sections to the sidebar & charms bar. Contemplating on window management (preview, close one, close all etc.) controls if the concept I'm thinking of would work well with touch (i.e. Giant thumbs... ...)
  • Agreed. I don't understand why MS cannot make a metro taskbar with improved functionality. The way it is right now is a big effin mess. They have just taken the aero taskbar from the desktop and plastered it over the Modern UI. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • *sigh*. Once again. Take out desktop and all this other junk. If you are a mobile experience user, you can unpin it or whatever, but there will always be Desktop. I understand this is WindowsPhoneCentral and a lot of people here are Windows enthusiasts like me, but personally, me and a majority of other technical minded users would like to keep the desktop there. Removing the Desktop will make me do the worse possible thing - move to Windows 7 or even worse, switch to OSX. If you want no desktop and love having apps that only resize horizontally, switch to Windows 1.0. They had the possibility of no-overlapping applications.
  • Who said about removing Desktop capabilities (explorer, taskbar/quick launch, multi threaded applications, etc.)? What we're asking for is the desktop environment to be integrated into a seamless UX following the Modern UI.
  • "me and a majority of other technical minded users would like to keep the desktop there." That is for sure! If you don't want the desktop don't use it! Simple. My wife rarely uses the desktop on her Surface RT but uses the desktop almost all the time on her desktop. I switch between them all the time depending on what I need to get done. Just try to use 5-8 open windows simultaneously on the modern UI. Some of us need the desktop mode.
  • Microsoft you are doing the taskbar and the start screen there ? Do any of you notice the small downward arrow that says "3 new apps installed" pointing towards the taskbar.... ? What a dumb mess!
  • The taskbar only appears when you hover the mouse. It would not be there all the time.
  • I wonder if QuickBooks Pro can be rewritten for the Modern interface with no loss of functionality.
  • QuickBooks programmers are a bunch if wallies and years behind. That software is buggy and still has hooks in xp. At the rate they are going, they'll have version in 2025!
  • I would rather see w8 multirltasking for all apps, not only metro ones. And remove that useless windows button from toolbar!
  • I'd be more excited if the Win 8 version of Internet Explorer didn't keep freezing and crashing, forcing me to use the desktop version.
    Oh, and if, by some miracle, WiFi and BT would actually connect automatically, that would be great. Not too excited over 'new' features when the original ones don't work properly or reliably.
  • your computer really doesnt work... I never had problems with IE even in my 7 years old computer I have to use sometimes.
    and wifi and BT works fine, in laptops and in usb wifi thing in the desktop. so it seems its your computer, not windows, im sorry but only because it doesnt work for you, it doesnt mean it doesnt work for anyone else.
  • Because it works for you, doesn't mean it works for everyone else
  • And just because it doesn't work for the first guy doesn't mean it doesn't work for everyone. 
  • Nice
  • How about replacing the START on the start screen with a clock?  It looks stupid to have the big START stuck in the upper left of the start screen at this point. 
  • well if you need a time so much you could always get a real watch, then you dont even need to look at the screen but your wrist. is it too hard to look at the bottom right corner taskbar clock? or pull the charms and get the clock?
    your idea of putting the clock even in the start screen, sounds silly...
    its like asking the time to be in the title bar... like if it was needed more clocks in windows, how many more you want? everytime you click or something? do you need it so bad?
  • A clock would be better use of the space then a static START which serves zero purpose.
  • but again, they are other ways to see the clock in windows 8.
    and static "start" is there for a reason, for example... someone call you if you can help him/her. and you say "go to start", what if they dont know what start is? at least if it has the name, people would see it and say "ok i found start" by your logic, we should remove every single label in windows becuase "I" know them, and I know how to find them and I know where everything is without labels (like when I use Windows in japanese and chinese or italian from my "lovely" neighbors who ask me for help)
    but yeah, then lets remove control panel name and lets just leave the icon, and same with command prompt, and task manager and every single thing in Windows, because we only need icons or nothing to indicate where we are... (?) so maybe for you its "useless" but it serves the same purpose, just like "Apps" label. its just a way to tell people who dont know about it, where the hell they are. so no, a clock only seems useful to you and a few others. it wouldnt even look good up there where "start" is, so why is the point of removing start if you cant put a clock there?
    but again, you can get it in alot of places: taskbar, when you pull the charmbars and even when you lock your screen, also you can get "clock" apps and put it in start screen, and get the time in start screen that way.
  • Cause it makes sense. I have no issues with gestures, but a lot of people do. A lot of people also can't get past the idea that the new start menu is a separate part of the computer, and adding the task bar(and the desktop BG as the start BG) it makes the start menu feel more like a start menu, rather than making the consumer feel like they have to leave their desktop to get there. Plus it shuts those people up so now they can focus on other things, and those anti Win8 people will have nothing to bitch about. Unless they think it's ugly, and if that's the case then don't use windows.
  • That's cause it's not for people like you. If for the people who still want win7 and aren't used to Win8 yet.
  • If you don't want it, hide it. The rest of us use it the time, even a Pro tablet. It's more efficient to tap than slide and tap.
  • Not needed anymore?  Speak for yourself.  Maybe if you only run full screen apps that you launch from the start screen and are perfectly content being isolated to a single app at a time like on a phone or tablet, but for those of us that like to run windowed applications and see at a glance what we have running and be able to easily switch between them it is most definitely still useful. 
  • So iffy about the taskbar. Guess we'll see how it works.
  • I don't think it's required to be there. Didn't the article say its just there if you hover over something?
  • Wow nice, the taskbar on the home screen looks sick!
  • Yeah it makes me want to puke too
  • How could it possibly be a bad thing to add more functionality to the start screen?
  • Fuck you
  • I would but I outrank you, its best not to rub shoulders with the lower classes.
  • *sigh*. Can we get some common sense here, please. It will appear under two situations - when you click on the start button from the desktop, and while still hovering over the taskbar, or most likely when moving the mouse all the way to the bottom.
  • Icons in taskbar will show notification count?
  • Damn the start screen looks like shit with the task bar in it. People thought it was "jarring" to switch between Metro and Aero well this is even worse than that.
  • I really like the task bar overlaid with the start screen. And can we please find room for a clock. Who made the decision to remove that? Could be wrong, but I think when people say they want the start button back, I think they mean the task bar.
  • Well I'll be damned. I've been saying that they need to overlay the task bar for a while now. Maybe I should work for MS...haha
  • This update is most excellent.
  • Much like the non touch screen as the desktop and metro are in one
  • I know its not a final build, but I am concerned with the automatic addition/removal of UI elements contingent on the existence of touch screens, keyboard and mouse. My fear is that there will not be a consistent experience from machine to machine. Like others have stated in this thread, hopefully we will have control over these settings... Maybe they will synchronize across all of my devices?
  • One step forward, Three steps back
  • If anyone has this leaked build I am interested if there has been any improvement to WiFi management? Personally I find this area lacking and needs some extra work. Link priority, setting management. Pre 8.1 holding down a WiFi link gave options to help change settings etc.
  • Oh, GOD!!!  PLEASE let there be a way to DISABLE all this DESKTOP CRAP!  I do NOT want to boot to desktop!  I do NOT want a stupid legacy taskbar showing up on the Start screen.  In fact, if there's a way to tell it to behave as if I have a touch screen, then I'll be happy!  I HATE what they are doing to Windows 8.  Bunch of idiots out there pushing Microsoft to go backwards. I hate all of you ignorant fools.
  • I'm sorry, but please don't tell me that you use an app-based file management and all your applications are app-based. In that case, you are going backwards, my friend. People were complaining in Windows 1.0 that you couldn't overlap applications, and Windows 3.0 added that feature, now people are going backwards to static Window sizes? wtf
  • Bingo!  I don't get the sudden love-in for apps that take over your entire screen.  If you're looking at 5" phone screen I get it, but on a laptop computer it's just stupid.
  • Yet more reasons I do not see an added value. Makes sense for pc and desktop, but not waiting for these features on my surface pro. will probably skip this update and wait fir 8.2.
  • I don't think you read the whole article....
  • All of these enhancements to the Metro start screen are fine and dandy for many users out there, but ther is one HUGE problem.
    I'm an Systems Administrator for a living.  I wanted to use a Microsoft Surface Pro (or any other 8/8.1 Pro touchscreen device) as my main device for managing the networks of the three companies that my employer owns.
    The big issue is that, in a typical Windows Domain environment, Group Policy turns User Account Control off by default, for a number of very good reasons in a centrally managed business environment.  For starters, just imagine what it would be like to have an office cubicle farm with a hundred or a thousand employees having to dick with that damned pop-up warning box every time they access certain programs.
    But, guess what happens when you connect a Windows 8/8.1 device to a domain network and UAC gets turned off?  All the metro apps stop working!  That's right, the snazzy Start Screen and and Metro apps become useless!  Most, if not all of them will not load, and there is no work-around outside of changing Group Policy UAC settings, which I REALLY don't want to have to contend with, or logging in to a local non-domain account.  But doing that means I lose access to domain network resourses like printers and shared drives, etc.
    To add insult to injury, I use SkyDrive a lot.  It helps me keep things in sync with my laptop as I moved from office to office, and kept everything between my laptop, main desktop workstation, and Windows Phone synched up and available to me no matter where I was or what device I was using.  However, in 8.1, the SkyDrive Desktop app goes away and SkyDrive is intregrated as a Metro app only.  A Metro app that WILL NOT RUN ON A BUSINESS NETWORK! Microsoft REALLY screwed the pooch on this one.  Let's take the single biggest selling feature of our new OS, and make it worthless in a typical business environment.  Brilliant!
    Then let's make the desktop so devoid of functionality that it is a hassle and, at least at first, huge guessing game on how to access stuff and find features.  
  • Not every business environment turns off UAC via Group Policy. It depends on the line of business applications that are running. Most applications written within the past five years or so work well with UAC, unless the developer is lazy. It's the applications that are older than dirt that require UAC to be off. ...and the UAC popups shouldn't be all that frequent unless users ate running Vista with it's "all or nothing" UAC approach.
  • Sure, not every business.  But certainly plenty of them.  This has been a hot topic in the business world, and a major obstacle for adoption of Windows 8 in the enterprise.
    The point remains that it is certainly not a small fringe issue, it's significant, and Microsoft really messed up by not designing things so that this wouldn't be an issue.
    This is equivalent to a carmaker putting cars on showroom floors with nav systems that only work when the headlights are on and your driving East.
  • Only on non-touch devices? Oh, that's a relief, and makes sense. What they should've done from the start (pun not intended), really. When I first heard this, it sounded absurd. But now that I know it's only non-touch devices: all is well in the mushroom kingdom.
  • Nice update. There are still a lot of easy to add changes (like add charms and hidden ui stuff to visible taskbar for nontouch) but at least these changes are in the right direction. That being the same ui for touch and nontouch but adapted to the specific device needs.
  • I like it so far and I think it's good that they're not shoving the Metro interface in PC users throats. Those who like it can have it, the majority who doesn't won't have to see it. This will certainly help convince more people to upgrade though the start button menus are more crucial for that. It's also nice to see the taskbar in the Metro UI which breaks a bit the two interface experience. I think eventually the tiles will be put in the traditional desktop as a sort of Menu that you can bring up when needed without leaving the desktop. And that's nice.
  • If I can't startup to the start screen with my non-touch laptop I will be thoroughly upset. -_-
  • Love the task bar on the start screen.  They should've done that from the beginning.  
  • The only problem with windows 8 is the bunch of moaners who cant get used to it. My English teacher once told me, Ed, something's only "shit" because you're not good at it. Windows 8 works absolutely brilliantly, using touch screen tablet and laptop (with mouse too) and both desktop and metro work well together. Spend less time saying its a mess and more time getting accustomed to how it actually works. Brilliantly.
  • Agreed!
  • People are resistant to change, its the hardware which is behind, by now we should be all using touch screens but they are few and expensive.
    I think if one has to choose between win7 or win8 depending on how you want UI, win8 was made for touch screens
  • have you used windows 8 in a touch screen?
    mouse and keyboard works better and faster... how is made for touch screens if it doesnt work the best with it?
    anything can be done better and faster with a mouse and keyboard than touch... maybe you should know Windows 8 didnt take any mouse and keyboard functionality to begin with. so how is any different than Win7? in fact, Win8 can be faster in alot of things navigating around.
  • As I've always said. This is exactly what they should have done in the first place. But they were so set on making sure developers knew their Metro app store isn't a joke. They're going to be pushing it more I think.
  • Just have the start button and let users configure right and left click settings for legacy start menu and new start screen Like right click - traditional start menu. Left click - Metro
  • ehmm no thanks, right click already does bring a menu and its really useful, I dont want a stupid start menu that was no better than Start screen, that will not bring the options "right click menu" does today
  • Designer is a traitors servant and doesn't add anything but a face!
  • I'll definitely be booting to the 8 Start Menu on my desktop PC...with no taskbar...and basically disabling all the Update 1 changes... I'm too used to the 8 UI now to change back...
  • Logitech Touchpad...has all the functionality of a touch screen windows device on a non-touch desktop. I love mine. I'm glad I got it. Still use my mouse and keyboard but the touchpad changed my entire experience.
  • I bought this, but found that it didn't work well, at least with my PC. Cursor was hard to move precisely, sometimes it would stop moving for a period of time. Same with their keyboard/touchpad combination. Finally decided to go back to the regular keyboard/mouse. Don't undertand what the fuss is all about - Windows 8 works fine with this hardware in both modes.
  • booting to the Start Page.
  • This update pretty much fixes any annoyances I have left with Windows 8.1.
  •   Like the taskbar feature in the Windows 8 apps and Start page. 
  • Can this stuff be turned off? I have a non-touch screen and touch mouse. I like the way Windows 8 works now except of  two things. 1. While on the desktop, I like to be able to just type to search like I do on the Start screen. 2. I like the swipe from left to right to circle thru ALL my open apps - Modern UI apps and Desktop Apps. Currently the left to right swipe only works with Modern UI apps (the desktop itself is a mondern UI app, not the contents on the desktop).