On the road to RTM, another build of Windows 8.1 update 1 is spotted

The leaks and screenshots of pre-release Windows 8.1 Update 1 builds continue to find their way on the Internet. The latest such report comes, as many have recently, from "WZor", who has posted a screenshot from an escrow MSU build with the version number 17031.

The last Update 1 build that leaked to the Internet had the number 17025. WZor states on his website that this 17031 build fixes a minor bug in previous versions which caused a black screen to show up if the Language Interface Pack (LIP) is set up as the primary language of the PC. There's no word yet if the build has actually leaked on the Internet.

Microsoft confirmed a few days ago at the Mobile World Congress that a free update to Windows 8.1 is due out this spring, and that it will include improvements for mouse and keyboard PC users. This week, unconfirmed reports claim that Microsoft will officially launch Update 1 on April 8th as part of the company's "Patch Tuesday" event and that MSDN subscribers will gain access to it on April 2nd.

Thanks to Neowin community member FaiKee for the tip in our forums!

Source: WZor | Image via WZor

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Meh... I have been one of those enthusiast who installed every new build but since windows 8, I am going to stick with win 8 along with startisback. I am not going to even go for 8.1 even though it is free. I hate this touch fad and deeper integration of cloud POS. I am running Hackintosh and boy that is much better OS than Win8. The only reason I have windows running is because I have some programs which runs on windows only.

Auditor said,
Meh... I have been one of those enthusiast who installed every new build but since windows 8, I am going to stick with win 8 along with startisback. I am not going to even go for 8.1 even though it is free. I hate this touch fad and deeper integration of cloud POS. I am running Hackintosh and boy that is much better OS than Win8. The only reason I have windows running is because I have some programs which runs on windows only.

Notice the complete and utter lack of anything similar to a Start Menu in OS X.

Anyway, Windows 8 is genuinely a better OS than OS X is. Both have their benefits and drawbacks to be sure, but Apple isn't very concerned about developing anything new for OS X.

In reality the Finder has languished in development hell for a decade. It's become so bad that a third party app developed by perhaps 5 people is far more powerful and flexible than the Finder.

Too bad Pathfinder is an ugly mess etc. but no question it is way better than the Finder.

OS X also incorporates a multidude of UI ideas straight from the "touch-fad", but unlike Windows 8 it is there without any touch interface or any reason to be there. One is whisked away, kidnapped, into full screen apps without question and has to watch a 2 second animation each time. That got old fast.

OS X is truly a system guilty of what Windows 8 is accused of: to have no idea where it is going and be tacked on with silly touch-fad UI.

In reality Windows 8 is going somewhere with this and the touch-fad UI in Windows 8 is clearly defined and marked from the desktop UI.

It's even better in Windows 8.1

Yeah no touch UI.

I call that a feature! I hate metro and I can't even use Windows Server 2012 at work because of it!

Apple does it right with menus and not ribbons that hinder productivity. Also with Windows 7 I can disable the horrible aero and put Windows 95 classic look back on so it is at least usuable without me having a heart attack each day I look at it when it starts up.

There is a reason 1/3 of internet users still prefer XP for our day to day use. It is a better lightweight OS with the best GUI ever made.

Things are in the wrong places in later releases.

I agree. As they try to merge Windows Phone and Windows 8/RT, they should definitely make the start screen tile organization work more like Windows Phone.

Start screen or the app list? Start screen you can organize since first release of Windows 8... And the app list is like WP in this Spring update.

wingliston said,
Start screen or the app list? Start screen you can organize since first release of Windows 8... And the app list is like WP in this Spring update.

The Start Screen. I know it can be organized, I am talking about how awkward it is to get the icons organized the way I want them.


Ideas Man said,
How is it dumb?

It is dumb because of how the icons shuffle when I move them about. It's just completely backwards. It makes trying to organize the start screen as a I want an unnecessarily tedious & infuriating task. Does it not seem like that to you?

Lamp0 said,

It is dumb because of how the icons shuffle when I move them about. It's just completely backwards. It makes trying to organize the start screen as a I want an unnecessarily tedious & infuriating task. Does it not seem like that to you?

They fill in the gaps when you take something out, that makes it dumb? I guess the desktop is dumb then when Auto arrange is turned on then huh.

Sorry but it's not at all dumb. Place it where you want it and the icons shuffle to make room for it, or fill in the gap it left. The desktop does exactly the same thing when Auto arrange is turned on, though you can't group them into nice piles like you can the Start screen.

If you're having trouble organising it, try organising in a top-down fashion. This will alleviate your issues and make it easier to organise.

Yes, @IdeasMan, the Start Screen trying to 'fill in the gaps' in the way it does IS dumb, and not at ALL what Windows Phone does.

The point you're not getting is that the Start Screen forces some weird "two column" organization, which causes the tiles to flip and move about in unpredictable and undesirable ways.

As opposed to Windows Phone, which doesn't enforce any sort of weird two-column format... I can put a small tile, then a medium, then a small, then a medium side by side for example. Can't do that on the start screen, because the next "medium" will leave a gap to make room for another "small", because the "grid" you're placing things on is not the same size as the small tile, but is the same size as the MEDIUM tile, further constrained that two medium tiles MUST fill a row before you can make another row.

It's obnoxious, infuriating, unintuitive, and stupid. They need to make the Start Screen work like the Windows Phone home screen.

So yes, it IS completely dumb.

Um, it does work somewhat like the Windows Phone start screen if you treat it like it. The difference is, the list does not go on and on in an infinite list like on Windows Phone, rather, it wraps into the next column as you fill up the vertical space.

It's none of the adjectives you used to describe it, and by doing so, you've only highlighted your own inability to use it properly. I've had a good play with it and had none of your experience, either with touch or a mouse, so really, perhaps invest some of that pent up negativity into having a go and you'll see it's not so bad.

However, here are the observable rules of the Start screen to help you out:
* The Start screen has a "flowing" design, similar to that of a Word document. It is not an absolutely positioned thing like a Publisher publication, or the Desktop.
* The Start screen consists of groups of flowing columns. You can create a new grouping as needed (Similar to inserting a Page Break in a Word document to force start a new page) and name them.
* Each column can have two medium sized tiles adjacent, thus they have two "inner" columns.
* When placing tiles, the Start screen will move tiles it can to accommodate your wishes within the column's "flow". Wide/large tiles will therefore force a new row to be created around them and small/medium tiles will shift to the adjacent "inner" column.
* "Inner" columns cannot be made explicitly blank; they're supposed to flow adjacent to one another. This means the right "inner" column cannot be populated by a small or medium tile unless the left "inner" column has been populated first. For example: If you have two small tiles, you can put each of them in both "inner" columns, providing the right one is populated first. The reason you may have gaps before a wide/large tile is because they cannot fill that space, so it has to be left empty, simply because it won't fit within it.
* Tiles do not shift up a row unless the row above it is completely blank.
* Each row has a minimum height of one medium/wide tile. A single small tile will therefore leave space vertically for an additional small tile to "fill" the row.
* When the number of rows exceeds the vertical space it has available to it, it will automatically flow into the next column within the same group.
* Much like pagination in a document, if you use a large tile and it ends up starting on the last row, it will automatically shift to the next column where it can occupy its two rows, creating an empty row in the previous column. If you remove another row before it (So there are now two empty rows in the previous column) it will flow back, much like a large paragraph in a Word document. If you were to add another row before it, then it will shift back to the next column.
However, if the last row is empty and you attempt to place it in that row, the second last row will jump past the large tile, and therefore change the ordering. This is to be expected because you're explicitly trying to place it in that position. To work around this, make the tile wide, place it in the last row, then make it large. Alternatively, drop it adjacent to the edge of the column to force the new column anyway.
* Within an "inner" column, small tiles must fill the next adjacent space in the pattern Top-Left->Top-Right->Bottom-Left->Bottom-Right.

However, what you can't do is:
* Explicitly place tiles anywhere you wish.
* Have a medium/wide/large tile sit across "inner" columns (To allow small tiles to sit around it, like you can on Windows Phone).

It's not that hard at all really. Ignore the verbosity of the rules and think logically about it, like pagination in a document and inserting paragraphs, and you'll get the general idea. The idea is that it "flows" and this is the key. Windows 8.1's implementation is a Word document; Windows Phone is a Publisher publication.

Edited by Ideas Man, Mar 7 2014, 6:35am :

I know what the rules are. But every sane person in the world finds it awkward and annoying to try and re-arrange the Start Screen the way you want. Things flip around in unexpected and unwanted ways.

Because users EXPECT to be able to explicitly place tiles exactly where they want.

If I want ONE column of medium tiles, why can't I? If I want a column of 3 medium tiles, why can't I do that? If I want alternating columns of medium and small tiles, why can't I do that?

It's completely unintuitive and frustrating the way it works now.

You're just wrong here, and the fact that you had to write so much to try and defend the unintuitive, frustrating, obnoxious, and stupid way it behaves now, really says something.

It should just work like Windows Phone. I should be able to put any tile I want, anywhere I want, and moving tiles around shouldn't cause massive reshuffling un unexpected ways the way it currently does.

Windows Phone gets this right.

The WIndows 8 Start Screen gets it wrong.

Windows 9/Threshold really needs to adopt the Windows Phone way.

I'm wrong? Every sane person in the world? Are you suggesting because I manage to use it without issue that I'm somehow "insane"? Stop hyperventilating and get over it. I tried to help you by explaining it, and my observations weren't at all difficult to figure out; it only took me a few minutes of playing around. However, for some reason, you seem completely incapable of thinking it through logically, so you resort to inane hyperbolic rants to "justify" your grotesquely incorrect assessment of the system. You're an example of someone who looks at something with a very narrow view and fails to comprehend the big picture.

Say we have absolute positioning, how exactly is the Start screen supposed to lay out if I have two monitors, but they aren't both the same vertical size? Should the Start screen be restricted only to my primary monitor (So going backwards)? If I have a tablet and I connect it to a bigger screen, the vertical size of the Start screen will be massively different on both screens, so should the big screen show only a few rows, or should the small screen be cropped?

The way it works - because it's based on a "flowing" layout - is that it simply changes the number of rows and all tiles shift relative to one another. The other added benefit of this approach is that if the Start screen's layout is synchronised across devices, the tiles remain relative to one another, positioned appropriately for vertical space they have available.

However, we can already see an example of where this is important and why it was designed this way right now, with a tablet. Organise the Start screen how you want it in a landscape orientation, then rotate it portrait. What would you expect the tiles to do? Should they stay exactly where they were when you positioned them in Landscape? If they did, half of the vertical space would be wasted, which is a stupid design.
Now let's swap the scenario around and say we positioned the tiles whilst in portrait mode and now change it to landscape. Should the tiles that were at the bottom of the screen in portrait now be cut off because they were "absolutely" positioned there? Should the Start screen now introduce an additional scrolling position (Vertical as well as horizontal) so the positions of the tiles don't change?

What about if I use Remote Desktop into a computer, but don't have it fill up my display, or I Remote Desktop onto a tablet that only allows a few rows, but set it to full screen on my display, which allows for many more rows (A valid scenario that must be catered for)?

Clearly it's you who doesn't understand the technology, and if you invested your negativity and unwillingness to learn into actually thinking about the scenario, you'd see why it works the way it does.

How is this different on Windows Phone that allows all this work? The one answer is extremely simple: The Start screen does not rotate when you rotate your phone. If it did, you'd find you now have a large number of layout problems you have to overcome (What happens to the Wide tile when you rotate it, where do the other tiles go?).

Before you come back with some more ill-informed garbage, please include the solution to the following problem in your reply, because then it will indicate that you've at least put some effort into thinking about the problem, rather than putting all of it into hyperventilated whinging:

"What happens to the tiles when the vertical space of the display they're shown on changes, and how would you handle wide tiles?"

The solution is a bit easier when all tiles are the same size (All medium), but when you're allowing wide, large and small tiles, it becomes a lot harder to do properly. Also keep in mind, if you change the vertical space and then make a change to the layout for that orientation, how should it then be reflected then the orientation is changed back?

Perhaps you'd be better installing a Start menu replacement. You've clearly got no idea and would be much better off using that instead. It doesn't even attempt to confuse you with customisation or flexibility, you get a scrolling list that you can't really change.

"completely unintuitive", honestly, stop being such a drama queen.

Edited by Ideas Man, Mar 8 2014, 1:10am :

Ideas Man said,
They fill in the gaps when you take something out, that makes it dumb? I guess the desktop is dumb then when Auto arrange is turned on then huh.

Sorry but it's not at all dumb. Place it where you want it and the icons shuffle to make room for it, or fill in the gap it left. The desktop does exactly the same thing when Auto arrange is turned on, though you can't group them into nice piles like you can the Start screen.

If you're having trouble organising it, try organising in a top-down fashion. This will alleviate your issues and make it easier to organise.

hmm.. I don't see how it is at all similar to Auto arrange? Although I don't use Auto arrange, I don't have a problem with it. Where as, I find the Start Screen is just down right boneheaded.

I don't understand what you mean by organize from a "top-down fashion". I mean I understand how it works & what's going on, it's just seems awkward... very awkward.

Any way I went ahead & created a topic to explain exactly my problems using pictures.

http://www.neowin.net/forum/to...anizing-start-screen-tiles/

I don't know if you're being willfully dense "Ideas Man", but I'm guessing this conversation is over. Auto-Arrange is NOTHING like how the Start Screen behaves, and at least you can turn THAT off!

The point is, it is completely unintuitive. Someone shouldn't HAVE to figure it out. They shouldn't have to deal with the BIZARRE and UNEXPECTED shuffling that happens, when you just want to re-arrange a few icons.

None of this is really a problem or issue on Windows Phone's home screen.

Regardless of you being the sole person on earth who thinks it functions "correctly" now, Microsoft REALLY needs to fix this for Windows 9. If they don't, they'll continue to have people reject the Start Screen because it's too damn difficult, frustrating, and weird to customize for a whole lot of people.

I know EXACTLY how it works, and WHY it shuffles the way it does (why do you think I don't and keep trying to explain it to me??). I just also know that it's endlessly annoying and frustrating and THERE'S NO GOOD REASON FOR IT TO WORK THAT WAY, and that any sane person would NEVER EXPECT IT TO BEHAVE THAT WAY.

Again, I have no idea why you can't understand or grasp this, or why you're defending the awful current implementation when a simpler implementation not only is simple and obvious, but already exists.

Because you're not providing any solution to fix the perceived problem. You've written bucket loads of nothing but empty whinging. Please explain how you would fix it, and such that it works in the scenarios that currently work with the current implementation.

Please do, because until you do, you're the wilfully dense person in this thread. You've say "it should be fixed", then please suggest how. I want to see how you would suggest it gets fixed. Come on, do it, and do it so that it caters for all the scenarios that it should.

There are plenty of smart people in Microsoft who came up with this, much smarter than you or I, yet you completely bang on as though you have the perfect design that's intuitive and works as it should, but have never actually suggested anything.

How do you fix the "bizarre and unexpected shuffling" problem? What's your solution? Windows Phone provides shuffling of tiles too.

Comparing Windows to Windows Phone is also not a proper comparison because the implementation is different (Which I explained, but you're a bit dense to realise it for some reason), and its these differences that can lead it to different implementation design choices.

Explain how you would fix the start screen or shut up. Explain your "simpler implementation [which is] not only is simple and obvious, but already exists"

I've explained it in every single post. Again, you're apparently not reading what I write. Make it work like in Windows Phone. Period. Full Stop. It works great there. None of this "two column fill shifting" bullcrap. I should be able to place any tile anywhere on a grid defined by the smallest tile size.

I'm not sure what part of this obvious, intuitive, easy, and PLAINLY STATED SEVERAL TIMES solution you're not getting.

You are the one being willfully dense here. Clearly. You cannot see the obvious even when it's right in your face. Even when MULTIPLE PEOPLE have outlined it to you, in both words AND PICTURES. And still you are blind to the completely blatantly obvious reality of the situation. It's mind-boggling to me.

Nobody I know would defend the current behavior. Yeah, I and others can EXPLAIN it. But nobody -- but apparently you -- defends it as the way it should work, or that it's easy for just anyone to pick up and understand and configure accurately the first time.

There is no reason NOT to compare it to Windows phone. That you think there is points to an obtuse denseness I yourself, not me. Yes, the implementations are different. I'm saying they should be much more similar. So what if one scrolls vertically and the other horizontally? That doesn't change things. It doesn't affect user expectations when they try to drag a tile to a new location.

There is no reason to have that "two column shuffle". Period. Why you're defending it is just beyond me, and most other sane people I would imagine.

That's not what I'm doing. You're just being incredibly dense in the way you, and you alone, are not "getting it" when it's so obvious and has been stated over and over by more than just me. I don't understand what you're not getting, but it's getting annoying to have you keep replying with your same crap.

So now that this update will be available thru WU, unlike the vanilla 8.1 update..

What happens if you are on Windows 8 and not 8.1 and you try to update? This "Spring Update" will install 8.1 AND then the update along with it?
Or its possible to jump right from 8->spring update without any issues?

Thanks. So you still need to login with a Microsoft account to download the 8.1 update, and THEN you can retrieve this spring update. Gotcha.