Latest build of Windows 8.1 updates icons of new apps

Microsoft is set to release a platform preview of Windows 8.1 in late June, and with that update will come several new bundled apps. In the previous builds of Windows 8.1, the apps had placeholder images for the tiles, but in the latest build, those placeholders have been replaced.

The new icons, seen in the image above, can be seen that will likely be representative, if not the final version, that will ship with the 8.1 update later this year. While certainly not the most exciting news for 8.1, for those of you who have been following the leaks closely, this will begin to complete the puzzle about how the new applications will function.

In addition to these new apps, and a bunch of other features we have already seen, Windows 8.1 is rumored to be bringing the start button (although not the start menu) back to Windows 8. 

The retail version of Windows 8.1 is expected to hit RTM in August, and if it follows the same pattern as the Windows 8 release, we should see the platform on retail shelves in the October time frame.

Source: PCPortal | Image via PCPortal

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OMG.. what a change.. I like green color. I am going to update all my computers to 8.1 since that is the change I have been looking for. I waited so long to have green tile. Everywhere I see is tile. I love tile. /s

Shiranui said,
News about the desktop side of things, or GTFO!

Uh, the desktop isn't going to get any major changes until Windows 9. There's no reason to change it now. Windows 8.1 is an update focusing mainly on advancing the new modern UX.

I think the reason for getting some of these apps into the modern side of things is to get rid of the desktop on RT, which is a good thing. Hopefully Office RT will be coming soon also.

korupt_one said,
I think the reason for getting some of these apps into the modern side of things is to get rid of the desktop on RT, which is a good thing. Hopefully Office RT will be coming soon also.

Please don't get rid of the desktop on Windows RT.
Metro is not mature enough yet and I'd be afraid of stuff that might get removed (command prompt, powershell, stuff like that)

Unfortunately we are past the era of careful and thoughtful development with stringent quality assurance. That takes way too long. In todays world you release software as final completely unfinished and make sure every update tends to break or remove features arbitrarily and resolve them with the next update even though that will break something else. Why develop a completely working and relatively bug free system when you dont have to. Kinda reminds me of the phrase "We will fix it in post production". Meanwhile we have immature technologies and half baked programs that at any given point will have something broken. Skype is a good example!

I think the Desktop should still be available. It's very useful, and makes Windows RT look more neat since it can operate a subset of Windows 8 on a convenient form factor. Being able to use the full IE10 is great as a choice if I don't feel like IE10 Metro is good for handling something.

If MS did really intend for it to not be there for consumers, they'd have had it ready when they launched. There'd be a lot of confusion if they just took away the desktop all of a sudden. If MS did decide to hide the desktop from your average Joe, I believe it should still be available somewhere for power users to access.

korupt_one said,
I think the reason for getting some of these apps into the modern side of things is to get rid of the desktop on RT, which is a good thing. Hopefully Office RT will be coming soon also.

I don't see it happening in Windows 8.1 but I could see in Windows 9 for Windows RT to have the desktop completely removed once WinRT is mature enough to become a drop in replacement for Win32. The big question is whether Microsoft's giant gamble is the assumption that by the time Windows 9 or 10 is released that the vast majority of consumers are buying portable devices (laptops etc) and their hybrid device (Surface RT and Surface Pro) are going to be the main computer for the vast majority of consumers. From what it appears Microsoft is aiming for 25 million Windows RT Surface devices to ship in 2014 so I wouldn't be surprised if long term that is where Microsoft is heading. Microsoft is going to replace OEM's gradually which leaves the question as to where OEM's are going to go to once Microsoft has a large chunk of the PC space with their own devices.

siah1214 said,

Please don't get rid of the desktop on Windows RT.
Metro is not mature enough yet and I'd be afraid of stuff that might get removed (command prompt, powershell, stuff like that)

What are you doing on RT that you need all that?

Mr Nom Nom's said
.. I could see in Windows 9 for Windows RT to have the desktop completely removed once WinRT is mature enough to become a drop in replacement for Win32.
That's going to be a long time before that happens. There's still millions of programs that rely on the desktop. I don't think they're trying to slowly kill-off the desktop, rather than offering the best of both UX's (mobile & desktop).

I don't think Microsoft would really burn their own bridges.

dtourond said,
That's going to be a long time before that happens. There's still millions of programs that rely on the desktop. I don't think they're trying to slowly kill-off the desktop, rather than offering the best of both UX's (mobile & desktop).

I don't think Microsoft would really burn their own bridges.


Keep in mind WinRT != Win8.
The Desktop has a big chance of getting removed by the time of Win9 but thats only from WinRT.
Its not going anywhere in desktop Windows for a loooong time (the question to remove the destkop from their main OS it isnt even MS's table for at least 20 years).

I'd like to see some evidence that supports this. What I have been hearing from my sources and independent exploration of the changes in Windows 8x is that it will be happening as a process over the next 5-10 years. Eventually windows runtime api will have enough in it to sustain it and win32 will be removed.

dtourond said,
That's going to be a long time before that happens. There's still millions of programs that rely on the desktop. I don't think they're trying to slowly kill-off the desktop, rather than offering the best of both UX's (mobile & desktop).

I don't think Microsoft would really burn their own bridges.

Learn what Windows RT is - the only win32 application that runs on Windows RT is Microsoft Office (and that is the case because the Office team was kept out of the loop when it came to Windows RT and ModernUI). If Microsoft by the time Windows RT based on Windows 9 is released then it is perfectly plausible to assume that WinRT will be mature enough that Office can run in ModernUI thus the need for desktop mode is removed. You can't run any ARM based Win32 from third parties in desktop mode on Windows RT anyway so your point is nonsensical at best.

Mr Nom Nom's said,

You can't run any ARM based Win32 from third parties in desktop mode on Windows RT anyway so your point is nonsensical at best.

Which is of course a completely artificial restriction. There is no technical reason to have prohibited this, as a "jailbroken" RT device will demonstrate. Thanks to the fine folks at XDA forums my Surface RT is much more productive (I actually wouldn't have bought it otherwise). Just having Putty and KeePass2 made it so much more useful. Of course, KeepPass2 is actually a .NET4 app that didn't even need a recompile.

I've said it before, if the future Windows RT is going to loose the desktop then Windows 8 Pro needs an ARM version.

Shadowzz said
Keep in mind WinRT != Win8.
The Desktop has a big chance of getting removed by the time of Win9 but thats only from WinRT.
Well yeah, I can see that. Windows RT (imo) should've been a complete tablet OS, rather than incorporating the desktop. And for what? Microsoft Office..?

All they would've had to do was re-create Microsoft Office as a series of tablet apps and incorporate a Modern file manager. Then there wouldn't be any need to have the desktop.

Shadowzz said
Keep in mind WinRT != Win8.
The Desktop has a big chance of getting removed by the time of Win9 but thats only from WinRT.
Well yeah, I can see that. Windows RT (imo) should've been a complete tablet OS, rather than incorporating the desktop. And for what? Microsoft Office..?

All they would've had to do was re-create Microsoft Office as a series of tablet apps and incorporate a Modern file manager. Then there wouldn't be any need to have the desktop.

domboy said,

Which is of course a completely artificial restriction. There is no technical reason to have prohibited this, as a "jailbroken" RT device will demonstrate. Thanks to the fine folks at XDA forums my Surface RT is much more productive (I actually wouldn't have bought it otherwise). Just having Putty and KeePass2 made it so much more useful. Of course, KeepPass2 is actually a .NET4 app that didn't even need a recompile.

I've said it before, if the future Windows RT is going to loose the desktop then Windows 8 Pro needs an ARM version.

The desktop on an RT device is completely asinine. If you need the desktop, then buy an x64 device. Windows RT is strictly a tablet OS.

Mr Nom Nom's said
You can't run any ARM based Win32 from third parties in desktop mode on Windows RT
No, but if you jailbreak Windows RT, you can run apps that are ARM-based and/or built entirely on Microsoft's .NET 4.5 framework.

Apparently there's some people at XDA forums that have ported a couple programs to Windows RT. At least it gives it more potential than just being able to run Modern apps and Office.

Dot Matrix said
The desktop on an RT device is completely asinine. If you need the desktop, then buy an x64 device. Windows RT is strictly a tablet OS.
But there's a problem there. If it's a complete tablet OS (which it is), then it should look like one.

There is little need for the desktop in Windows RT, besides running Microsoft Office.

If they would've incorporated Office as a series of Modern apps and put in a Modern file manager from the start, then there'd be no need to keep the desktop.

I can see a customer looking at a Surface RT, not knowing the difference because it looks the same when it look at it head-on.

dtourond said,
But there's a problem there. If it's a complete tablet OS (which it is), then it should look like one.

There is little need for the desktop in Windows RT, besides running Microsoft Office.

If they would've incorporated Office as a series of Modern apps and put in a Modern file manager from the start, then there'd be no need to keep the desktop.

I can see a customer looking at a Surface RT, not knowing the difference because it looks the same when it look at it head-on.

They're working on it. A file explorer is coming in 8.1, and I'm hoping we'll hear about a Modern Office soon. They said they were working on that.

Dot Matrix said
They're working on it. A file explorer is coming in 8.1, and I'm hoping we'll hear about a Modern Office soon. They said they were working on that.
I saw the beta version of the file manager. I'm glad about that. Now, if they can get Office and the file manager in Windows RT, then the general public can easily tell the two Surface's apart.

dtourond said,
I saw the beta version of the file manager. I'm glad about that. Now, if they can get Office and the file manager in Windows RT, then the general public can easily tell the two Surface's apart.

The file manager will very much be a part of WindowsRT 8.1

mizkitty said,
Where's the build number?
Or is this just another "placeholder" news post?

Unless they said otherwise online somewhere the newest build we've seen shots of is 9403 iirc. Now those shots could be fake as well so I dunno. But as of today I'm sure they're well into the 4xx range.

It really feels like Windows 8.1 is the release Windows 8 should have been, a completed version.

That to me has always been the biggest problem with 8. It just feels unfinished (especially the Control Panel/PC Settings confusion). It's like the RTM release of 8 is an was where they took a beta and polished it to a stable and release-viable state in order to meet their release target.

Now they are actually adding in the remaining features and next year and onwards will improve it further. Hopefully the new Windows will start to find itself at last.

singularity87 said,
It really feels like Windows 8.1 is the release Windows 8 should have been, a completed version. [...]
Now they are actually adding in the remaining features and next year and onwards will improve it further. Hopefully the new Windows will start to find itself at last.

Some updated icons are a good start... I guess.

singularity87 said
That to me has always been the biggest problem with 8. It just feels unfinished (especially the Control Panel/PC Settings confusion). It's like the RTM release of 8 is an was where they took a beta and polished it to a stable and release-viable state in order to meet their release target.
This is the first version of Windows to incorporate the MUI. And if it's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that the first version of any product is far from perfect. That's why there's updates. To improve the UX.

TrekRich said,
Stop dicking around changing the colours! and put the damn start menu back in!

And Program Manager. I can't believe they removed that.

jakem1 said,

And Program Manager. I can't believe they removed that.

I know right? I got way more work done with good old program manager than that silly start menu.

God darn it with these higgilty piggilty icons. Bring back the command prompt, that put hairs on even the most namby pambys chest

I think that so long as the desktop remains, they should put an option to enable a Start menu in Group Policy. No need to make a song or dance about it, or over-emphasise it but it would appease a lot of people.

They used to have fallbacks - the classic pre-XP Start menu wasn't cut 'til Windows 7 for example. This thing of introducing a new UI without providing an alternative seems to be a Sinofsky-era innovation - starting with the introduction of the ribbon and scrapping of the menu UI in Office.

As a Graphic Designer and over all person who in the past liked blurring the line between reality and virtual you are not alone but am in the minority. We have taken a step back in design for the sake of poor battery technology. Or atleast the claim is battery technology. I don't exactly buy it. However, You shouldn't mention things like that here at neowin. It will get you crapped on by most people or simply ignored. Case in point.. This reply!

Matt A. Tobin said,
As a Graphic Designer and over all person who in the past liked blurring the line between reality and virtual you are not alone but am in the minority. We have taken a step back in design for the sake of poor battery technology. Or atleast the claim is battery technology. I don't exactly buy it. However, You shouldn't mention things like that here at neowin. It will get you crapped on by most people or simply ignored. Case in point.. This reply!

The battery excuse is a lame one that has been perpetuated by fanboys - the issue is that Metro is mimicking Piet Mondrian flat, bold and minimalist styling. Sorry but transparency and over the top 3d effects have as much to do with modernity as tail fins and 'orbits' that one saw in the Jetsons.

I have seen metro inspired designs that actually look good. It is rare but if you just put a few more design niceties you could make metro design a lot more visually interesting as well as appealing.

Of course where windows runtime/immersive environment/metro design falls short is useability. Which is admittedly because it is so immature. But it could be done in a way that would improve all issues. I just don't like having to wait years for it to get to that point.

Of course we would have to wait years in any case but releasing it in this state means we must suffer. Which in the view of people's perceptions and Microsoft and many other companies having an initial and long standing limited and broken system is a viable alternative but gets visibly updated as time goes on vs proper internal development external testing and quality assurance that keeps the products out of the general public's hands for a period of time.

Edited by Matt A. Tobin, May 27 2013, 10:19am :

Xbox Green! That's the color of the Original versions of the Xbox app from the preview Windows 8 version. I'm glad they use this color again. I like it.

More interesting: they changed the name of Calculate to Calculator. Does that mean they also removed the old desktop Calculator? Or are there now two apps with the same name?

tiadimundo said,
More interesting: they changed the name of Calculate to Calculator. Does that mean they also removed the old desktop Calculator?

Please NNNOOOOOO!!!! Not a fullscreen-only calculator that can't be run windowed.
Why do these misnamed "modern" apps have to set back computing by 30 years?

gb8080 said,

Please NNNOOOOOO!!!! Not a fullscreen-only calculator that can't be run windowed.
Why do these misnamed "modern" apps have to set back computing by 30 years?

Just snap it and take a chill pill.

Bogdan Calapod said,
I find it very awkward when I look into Windows 8 and see icons from 1995. I mean, seriously, Microsoft ?

You mean ones buried deep in control panels that normal users never have accessed in their life? Sure it'd be nice if they changed them, but I wouldn't really care either way.

According to Paul Thurrot, there was some plan to change those icons, but they chickened out. They really do need to redo them. The system icons need to be consistent with this modern aesthetic.

This time I might update my desktop OS from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1. Hopefully it will bring such good stuff more and also should change desktop icons as well.

Tyler R. said,
Sweet! They changed the camera app from purple to blue too. I hope they're working on the desktop icons too.
Yes, that change was already made in the last leak.

Lol. A very arbitrary change. I wonder why that tile and that color.

It'd be cool if Microsoft could let us choose an accent color across all tiles (both core and 3rd party apps that allow it) so one's favorite color dominates, just like Windows Phone.

Of course, allowing for users to selectively choose which tiles display what color would also be great if you find having the same color accent on to be garish or make it difficult to distinguish everything.

Quikboy said,
It'd be cool if Microsoft could let us choose an accent color across all tiles (both core and 3rd party apps that allow it) so one's favorite color dominates, just like Windows Phone.

We need this fast. Windows Phone needs more too. We need to be able to change individual tiles, and the background across all Windows platforms. The two scheme system (light an dark) on WP is boring.