Didn't download the leaked Windows 8.1 build? Here's a video walkthrough

A build of Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8.1 Update 1 that is slated to arrive this spring, leaked and showed off a few new features. If you were not brave enough (and we don’t blame you) to download the bits from the dark corners of the web, a video overview of the update has made its way to YouTube.

The video, created by @bav0, walks you through the new features that the update will bring to the platform. Among them are the ability to right click on apps in the modern environment that brings up a new context menu that allows you to pin apps to the taskbar and a new access bar at the top of modern apps.

The video is a bit over 4 minutes long and hits all the high notes for the update. While we don’t expect this release to be as big of an update in terms of new features like Windows 8.1, there are certainly quite few enhancements bundled in for mouse and keyboard users.

Microsoft is expected to release this update sometime this spring with many expecting it to arrive in the March/April timeframe.

Source: Bav0

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The context menus are much needed. Would like a slightly more modern appearance though. Not the oversized chunky look of the few that exists now, but they could blend in just a tad better.

Why the metro and desktop environment can't coexist? I tried the surface pro and it works better with metro interface, but on my PC, with keyboard and mouse i prefer go to the desktop like i always did, because that the way i like it. I don't get! why we can't have both ways? There is a law against it?

Most people hate change, any change, and will resist it with much force.

A couple of days ago I read an article about people complaining to the city, as it was changing the streetlights to modern LED lights. The people were used to the orange light color, and didn't want that to change. That the LED lights would be way more efficient and cheaper wasn't a point of discussion. The fact that something in their immediate surroundings would change was ;-)

I moved from Mac OS X to Windows 8, because of Windows 8 and its innovative and user friendly interface and user experience. I had been using Macs since the mid 90s and never considered Windows until Windows 8. It's a damn fine piece of software engineering.

Dutchie64 said,
You're serious???

This is MS finally listening and adding stuff that should have been there in the first place.

Yes. That's often a very hard thing for anyone, let alone an organization the size of Microsoft [now a financial/political organization] to do.

Let's hope they decide to create new revenue streams with new products, services, and technology people want, and not turning existing products, services, or functionality people have been used to getting for free, into subscription services.

MorganX said,

Yes. That's often a very hard thing for anyone, let alone an organization the size of Microsoft [with a bigger ego than all other corporations combined] to do.

Fixed that for you.

It's all coming together now. Windows 8 = Beta Test before Windows 9. They're getting customer reactions, opinions, suggestions etc... I know this because the changes between 8.0, 8.1 and 8.1 update1 radically alter functions. With this, they're getting all the answers they need and will bundle it all up in the final product called Windows 9.

Do you STILL need to be logged in with a Microsoft account in order to be able to apply this update? Really sad that we don't have an option to install with a local account........

The "Store apps on taskbar" feature makes me wonder. What if I run an app (e.g. "Weather") that is not pinned, and then minimize it and do not touch it for hours. According to the "Store app" application model the OS should "kill" it at some point. Will it disappear from taskbar then? That could be a bit confusing.

That's an interesting point. My view would be to allow Windows to suspend it as it normally does, but just keep the icon on the taskbar. I'd grey the icon out or have an overlay to indicate that it's suspended too (Similar to how Skype and WLM use them for status notifications), but just having it linger and resuming from suspension would probably be sufficient too.

One thing that wasn't mentioned is the task bar now also shows up when you mouse down in a Metro app. It just wasn't in the leaked version... but in a later build it did show that. :-) So far, this is looking like a great update.

This update looks to be monstrously bigger for UI improvements than 8.1 ever was alone.

It's actually amazing that Windows 8.0 ever passed any acceptance testing at all. Go to move the mouse on the laptop while writing something in Word and then-BOOM you're in Bing Weather, full screen (that gesture is really terrible to be on by default for trackpads). There's no X button, mouse up to the corner where it would usually be doesn't help you get back, the escape key does nothing, and the taskbar is unavailable. The only ways out are with the Windows key (which takes you to yet another spot that isn't where you just were), to click the invisible not-a-button in the top left corner, or to enter power user commands like alt-tab. It's a pretty big flip of the bird to the last 15+ years of convention that Windows established.

My ONLY gripe about any of the changes shown is that they weren't there to begin with. Windows 8 never should have left beta without them.

I would also add that the taskbar should remain visible in the Start screen. StartIsBack has that feature right now, but it just makes sense for this to be the default especially since Metro apps are going to be visible on the taskbar.

Not making fun of your comment, but this is the first time I've ever heard someone call Alt+Tab a "power user command"!

Romero said,
Not making fun of your comment, but this is the first time I've ever heard someone call Alt+Tab a "power user command"!

My thoughts exactly. Amusing.

random_n said,
This update looks to be monstrously bigger for UI improvements than 8.1 ever was alone.

It's actually amazing that Windows 8.0 ever passed any acceptance testing at all..

It didn't really... The MS blogs and forums weren't really positive on a lot of the new stuff and their implementations. MS just ignored it all.
Guess what..? The same complaints rose up worldwide after the release of Win8.

MS could have saved themselfs a lot of pain just investigating the early comments and complaints during the beta's......

Okay so Microsoft leaked their betas on purpose to hype up the anticipation to a higher level. Method might work, might not. This explains why we find a lot of all other free stuff newly released on torrents.

They obviously don't ONLY work on one product during a 6 month span. They work on products YEARS before it's actually released. They probably have early alpha plans for Windows 10 already. That's how development life cycles work for gigantic software/operating systems and planning.

Jackroosky said,
If this is the entire update what has Microsoft been doing for six months? There's nothing here worth mentioning.

Considering 8.1 RTM was 27-8-2013 and this build is from 14-01-2014, they quite clearly haven't progressed for 6 months. Of course pre Windows 8, progress was roughly three years instead of 4.5 months...

Not everything done in an update it something you can see. Geez, whine whine whine... It's almost like a small service pack with some nice requested features, and yet still whining.

There is no "windowed" part yet. That's coming in Threshold (Windows 9). BUT, when you now move the mouse to the top of the screen in Store apps, it shows a title bar with minimize and close buttons just like a desktop app. And you can launch and switch to Store apps on the task bar.

So it looks like Microsoft is still trying to make people familiarize with "modern" apps (to buy Windows mobiles later on?) by mixing them with desktop. Still don't see any point in using mobile eqiuvalent of desktop applications at the workstation ;-)

I don't care for Windows 8 or 8.1. I don't want a screen filled up with big rectangle blocks. Those big rectangles are not needed. Restaurants use touch screens all day long with their menus on them and don't need that size boxes. Boxes don't have to be no bigger then the end of a persons fingertip.

emm... you know it's possible to resize them, right? Heard of small tiles; about the same size as a desktop icon?

eddman said,
emm... you know it's possible to resize them, right? Heard of small tiles; about the same size as a desktop icon?

Are you suggesting he should inform himself, watch the video above or actually use the thing he complains about? Please be reasonable.

wahoospa said,
I don't care for Windows 8 or 8.1. I don't want a screen filled up with big rectangle blocks. Those big rectangles are not needed. Restaurants use touch screens all day long with their menus on them and don't need that size boxes. Boxes don't have to be no bigger then the end of a persons fingertip.

"Not needed..." So you like looking at bland icons, or...?

LOL.. Guys, no point in trying to educate the troll. If they choose to believe Windows 8.1 is only rectangle blocks, then he obviously has not taken the time to understand the product (and what's customizable) before whining - just like every other keyboard warrior, they hear one thing and then close their ears/eyes to everything else. Let them look silly.

I really like the changes that are shown but one thing I would like still is the ability to choose to disable the start button from the task bar properties like you can with boot to desktop.

Some nice changes there for the desktop users - as opposed to the touch screen users. I'm liking 8.1 a lot. If nothing else it is much snappier and quicker than 7.

leo_the_lion said,
Some nice changes there for the desktop users - as opposed to the touch screen users. I'm liking 8.1 a lot. If nothing else it is much snappier and quicker than 7.

I agree -- It sure feels snappier. On the other hand, "Snap" is probably the feature I use least in Win 8. On my desktops and notebooks, even those with a touchscreen, I never use snap. On my tablets (I have 4 that are running Win 8.1 x86 or RT), the only time I use snap is when viewing an attachment using the Mail app.

On a tablet, most of the time, I find the snapped apps the wrong proportion to be useful (like Netflix), or too small (like a browser).

Talys said,

I agree -- It sure feels snappier. On the other hand, "Snap" is probably the feature I use least in Win 8. On my desktops and notebooks, even those with a touchscreen, I never use snap. On my tablets (I have 4 that are running Win 8.1 x86 or RT), the only time I use snap is when viewing an attachment using the Mail app.

On a tablet, most of the time, I find the snapped apps the wrong proportion to be useful (like Netflix), or too small (like a browser).

I use snap all the time, it's one of the great features in win8, especially on a tablet.
Browsing the web, while having the Music app snapped to the side, or my FB/Twitter app.
Snapping the browser and OneNote etc. etc.

I find it very useful, but ymmv ;-)

Dutchie64 said,

I use snap all the time, it's one of the great features in win8, especially on a tablet.
Browsing the web, while having the Music app snapped to the side, or my FB/Twitter app.
Snapping the browser and OneNote etc. etc.

I find it very useful, but ymmv ;-)

I must confess that I'm not much of a music guy. Snapping a movie seems to offend my sense of screen real estate efficiency, because so much of the screen is just filled with black. I guess I just look at snap as a poor-man's window, because, you know, windows don't need to vertically fill a panel

All that being said, my mother absolutely loves full screen Windows 8 Modern apps, snaps, and all -- she no longer has to worry about why a window disappeared I'm glad they are putting in the close button, as she has not, after months, mastered closing a modern app with a mouse.

As someone who only just recently started using 8.1 I can say these are very welcome changes. I don't hate 8 as much as I did before, but I won't be buying licenses for any of my other machines, but maybe 9 finally change that if they keep listening to customers instead of themselves.

Now THIS is what I call an update. :-)
I'm really liking how seamless everything works now and works great between Desktop/Metro now.

I hope in the final release, they make the right-click context menus in white and slightly bigger font, so it matches the other drop menus (i.e. when u click the three dots, or shutdown, etc.).

I was worried that there would an annoying title bar with minimize/close on the metro apps, but thankfully it's a swipe down. :-)

The best thing they could do was adding "This PC" to the Start Screen.

Today I saw my teacher re-plugging an USB drive, because he didn't know how to access it without the auto-play feature (which opens a new window when a new media device is plugged in)

Jose_49 said,
The best thing they could do was adding "This PC" to the Start Screen.

Today I saw my teacher re-plugging an USB drive, because he didn't know how to access it without the auto-play feature (which opens a new window when a new media device is plugged in)


Agreed. There are some things that just feel hidden...

M_Lyons10 said,

Agreed. There are some things that just feel hidden...

Like the task bar.

I like how the task bar stays visible when you first click to switch to an app.. but then, why doesn't it show up when you simply move the mouse to the bottom of the screen, instead to switch to a desktop program or another app you have to click the 'start' button, to at least get back the desktop to switch over to something else.

Still an arse about way of doing things, then why give us the option of a drop down menu to minimise and split screen when we've been able to do that with desktop applications for ages now, yet Microsoft is STILL trying to force mobile 'apps' and the way they work on to the desktop.

Just give us a god damn toggle for start screen and metro on or off, providing us with a start menu and desktop only option. Too much to ask already?

Don't even know why I'm ranting, I moved to using Mac OS X shortly after 8.1 was released.

Hopefully the app bar will still be there as an option for the few people who actually liked Windows 8's metro style and claimed it to be 'perfectly usable'.

sagum said,

Like the task bar.

I like how the task bar stays visible when you first click to switch to an app.. but then, why doesn't it show up when you simply move the mouse to the bottom of the screen, instead to switch to a desktop program or another app you have to click the 'start' button, to at least get back the desktop to switch over to something else.

Because apparently it's a bug and will be fixed before the final version is out, according to the poster who uploaded the leaked ISO that is.

sagum said,

Like the task bar.

I like how the task bar stays visible when you first click to switch to an app.. but then, why doesn't it show up when you simply move the mouse to the bottom of the screen, instead to switch to a desktop program or another app you have to click the 'start' button, to at least get back the desktop to switch over to something else.

Still an arse about way of doing things, then why give us the option of a drop down menu to minimise and split screen when we've been able to do that with desktop applications for ages now, yet Microsoft is STILL trying to force mobile 'apps' and the way they work on to the desktop.

Just give us a god damn toggle for start screen and metro on or off, providing us with a start menu and desktop only option. Too much to ask already?

Don't even know why I'm ranting, I moved to using Mac OS X shortly after 8.1 was released.

Hopefully the app bar will still be there as an option for the few people who actually liked Windows 8's metro style and claimed it to be 'perfectly usable'.

Enjoy the Mac, then. At least you know they'll be the same for the next 20 years, and don't have to worry about Ribbons or tiles.

Dot Matrix said,

Enjoy the Mac, then. At least you know they'll be the same for the next 20 years, and don't have to worry about Ribbons or tiles.

Yes, because the Mac OS hasn't changed at all in the last 20 years...

Dot Matrix said,

The interface design certainly hasn't.

Quite true.

I was using System 7 last time I owned a Mac, on a Performa CD. Pretty much an iMac by todays standards, it even had a TV card built in!

The menus were always the same location, the quick launch bar (now doc) was there. Disks on the desktop, applications in folders.. window widgets on the left hand side etc.

It looks 'nice' now and with more features come more buttons and menus, but on the whole, Apple have kept the same look and feel of the interface from back in the early 90's.

sagum said,

Don't even know why I'm ranting, I moved to using Mac OS X shortly after 8.1 was released.

Agreed. Don't know why you're moaning.

But at least you put your money where your mouth is and left. I wish more would do that.

Dot Matrix said,

The interface design certainly hasn't.

That's just like saying Windows hasn't changed fundamentally in the last 20 years as there's still a taskbar, desktop, and (well since 8.1) a Start button.

ZipZapRap said,

Agreed. Don't know why you're moaning.

But at least you put your money where your mouth is and left. I wish more would do that.

So, because of the changes in Windows 8 and the refusal to learn the new stuff, he switched to a completetly different OS?

Yes, that makes sense... /s

Dutchie64 said,

So, because of the changes in Windows 8 and the refusal to learn the new stuff, he switched to a completetly different OS?

Yes, that makes sense... /s

Refusal to learn the new stuff? I moved to a completely different OS... I don't know how much new that can get.

I'm a huge fan of Microsoft, I've tested with them for the longest time. I've stuck with them from the start with Windows Phone (Just last week I purchased another). I used Windows 8 in the pre-releases, I was super excited about it. I even put aside the issues with the poor mail, photos etc apps that were to replace the Live suite.

Instead, what I got was an unfinished, self promoting ecosystem that's been forced up on us with no reason other then Microsoft's say so that we have to use the machine as a gloried wanna be tablet system.

There was zero reason for users why Microsoft couldn't have placed a toggle switch early on in the pre-releases to enable the start menu and disable the metro start screen and apps. They removed the users options and choice to use their machine how they wanted to.

You might not remember back when Windows 95 came out and people were ****ing and moaning about not having program manager anymore, or that they had to use explorer instead of file manager, lucky for them, Microsoft actually left them in Windows 95 WITH options to use them as the shell via registry edits and ini files. Microsoft went out of their way to remove the start menu and stop people from bringing it back with Windows 8.

The reason they've done this is because they were caught short by the uptake of mobile platforms, something they had long forgotten about with their Windows Mobile platform, Apple took the lead, then Samsung, now they both command more of the market share then Microsoft is shipping new PC installs of Windows. It's come to the point where people chose an iPad or android tablet over a windows laptop or desktop PC. All the while, Google, Amazon, Apple all are running their eco-systems, latching users on to their platforms.

Microsoft, doesn't WANT a piece of that eco-system pie. Microsoft NEEDs large slice of it. To do that, they needed a user base, but without a eco-system for users to latch on to, they've forced people into a position where they're already part of it. Hence why Microsoft wanted everyone to be using apps on the desktop (their biggest market share). If all the desktops went to windows 8, they'd have the same user base as Apple. Immediately putting them back in to a level playing field.

This under handed tactic Microsoft is using, abusing it's loyal customers is part of the reasons why I moved OS.

For all the people that moan about the start screen, for everyone that asks why we can run metro apps in a window on the 'desktop PC', for everyone that wants to use a start menu that was actually removed from the OS, for everyone that doesn't want to sign on to their account just to use their machine, you have to ask yourself why is Microsoft upsetting all these people? Yet, when they provide fixes,they're still pushing out their App eco system.

Honestly, I probably would have brought into it all if I had not been pushed and tugged. Heck, I'd probably even overlooked having to buy the same games on the Xbox, Windows Phone and Windows 8, again and again even though they're on the same account, I'd have even over looked the extortionate prices of the games or apps on the Windows platform that can be found on iOS or Android for FREE or a heck of a lot less.
But do you know what was the final kicker for me? Windows 8's performance over Windows 7. I used to think Windows 7's performance was fast, then I installed Windows 8. Used it until the all promised 8.1 was released, went back to Windows 7. Windows 7 was slow and clunky to use, sure it looked pretty, it had the start menu and there wasn't any BS with metro, but I just couldn't use it. I went back to Windows 8, with the jarring flashing start screen (made much better btw since you can adapt the background image to your desktop wallpaper, I might add). Over all, it's just bits that shouldn't even have to be an issue for desktop users.

So, if I'm going to "learn new stuff", why should I stick with something that's giving me problems? Nope, I tried Mac OS X, and all the fancy stuff that makes sense is there. It even has a built in App store, forced upon me? nope, it's there if I need it. Full screen of apps like the start screen? Yup, it has Launch pad too, but thats not forced up on me either. No activation crap to worry about, no drive by websites trying to install tool bars, I have all the software I need, heck, I even have Microsoft Office. I can even reboot into Windows if I really wanted to.

Yes, it does make sense.