Windows 8.1 9374 shows search charm won't take over screen

Earlier this weekend, a new development build of Windows 8.1, version 9374, managed to find its way to Internet file sites. As with the two previously leaked Windows 8.1 builds, many people have been looking to see if any new features have been put inside by Microsoft.

One small but interesting difference has been reported by Sebastian at the Windows4live Twitter account. He has posted a screenshot from the 9374 Windows 8.1 build, seen above, that shows activating the search charm on the desktop now just covers up part of the desktop UI.

Currently, Windows 8 users know that using the search charm brings up a full-screen Apps Search page when inside the desktop. In the Modern UI, using the search charm in the Start screen does the same thing but it only covers up part of the screen when inside a Windows 8 Modern app or when using the Windows Store. It would appear that Microsoft has decided to do away with the Apps Screen when using the search charm across all parts of Windows 8.1.

Source: Windows4Live on Twitter via WinBeta.org| Image via Windows4Live

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This is a big deal for myself, I could never get used to the entire screen disappearing just for a search, and I especially lost my mind at having to separately click for settings and files. It still doesn't bring back the ONE thing that I used the most which was Start Search for Outlook contacts. Outlook 2013 search is pathetic now, on my big list of stuff for them to fix. All in all MS is moving in a good direction at a fast pace, and it seems like they are listening.

^^ this ... i hate that MS TOTALLY did away with transparency except for the taskbar .. dont get me wrong im not saying everything should be see through, but playing with transparency throughout the OS design ( even like OS X) is a nice feature .. make menus semi transparent .. give us the option if we want our title bars transparent, etc ...

This is a bad idea for the same reason a start menu that only took a portion of the screen was a bad idea. When I am searching I am concentrating on the search and nothing else - surely the thing to do would be to dedicate as much screen real estate to it as possible rather than just restricting me to a portion of the screen.

Disappoints me that Microsoft have no conviction in their trajectory.

Finally... just pinning apps in there would be great.... and having the option to bring back transparencies it would be awesome...

So...what they're saying is that they've realised people find it really really annoying when something uses the entire screen for no good reason?

Like...the start screen? =P

Still, shouldn't complain ^^ I just want them to fix hot corners in full screen desktop applications (Games). Sadly I had to install classic shell and disable hot corners as it makes some of my favourite games impossible to play properly =(

This is a very good move. I use search a lot, so if it takes up a small portion only I'm very happy. Couple that with the consolidated results (not separate apps, settings, etc) makes it a winner in my book.

It's nice to see more cohesion between the Modern and the Desktop honestly. I hope 8.1 does a lot more to bring these together.

The Desktop UI could've really used a bit more Metro to it. Like the screenshots from way back on The Verge. It was very smooth and Metro across all dialogs.

I think by 8.2 we'll see the end of "The ribbon" as it stands now and other hard cut out elements. A move toward more flowing UI with font and text floating freely in a colored space without definition and the hard edged button type look.

Might as well they had just kept Windows 7 on market and waited a bit longer before releasing Windows 8 to general public. This save face to be honest is sad.

A step in the right direction - just take it a little further. Move it to the left side of the screen, and have that open when I click on the Start button (which is always visible in the taskbar) or when I tap the Start button on the keyboard. And when it opens, it shouldn't cover the taskbar. Before you type a search, it should list your most recently used desktop applications, and include a shutdown and logoff button at the bottom. Various other links such as Documents, Photos, Control Panel, etc would be handy as well.

Yeah, it may be ugly as hell compared to the Windows 7 Start menu - but as long as the functionality is there, that's what's most important.

Now where does that leave the Metro apps? Eh, don't worry about it.

Edited by Chugworth, Apr 22 2013, 1:31am :

The main thing I want to know about 8.1 is, is it a free upgrade or are they going to expect us to pay for the OS we should have got? Although I did get it at the ultra cheap price but obviously, I would rather have a free upgrade than have to pay a full OS price.

PsYcHoKiLLa said,
The main thing I want to know about 8.1 is, is it a free upgrade or are they going to expect us to pay for the OS we should have got? Although I did get it at the ultra cheap price but obviously, I would rather have a free upgrade than have to pay a full OS price.
a Free Upgrade? AFAIK this aint Linux, so no it wont be a " Free Upgrade Doofus"

Could be something like a service pack, which is generally free. Unless there's a lot more substantial changes, there's no way I would pay a dime for something this basic.

PsYcHoKiLLa said,
Well service packs are free and this is basically a service pack....Doofus. Now go throw another shrimp on the barbie.
this is NOT a Service Pack. its a whole New WindowsOS with a .1 added to it to fixup a stuffed up first version

WIth the over all tepid to downright bad buzz MS has gotten over Windows 8, I would be surprised if the charged for this.

That being said, the want to get into the Apple update model, so they may price this down pretty low to get people used to the concept of paying for the next big update. Then with 8.2 with even bigger changes raise the price a bit more.

Fritzly said,

XP SP2 was free.

Yes, all service packs have been, they are just packs containing a bunch of mostly already released fixes as one download for convenience. This is a bit different containing actual feature changes to the OS.

Seeing how MS is pushing desktop Windows as their tablet platform I think it's pretty likely this will be a free upgrade though, they'll go by the example set by iOS and Android.

PsYcHoKiLLa said,
Well service packs are free and this is basically a service pack....Doofus. Now go throw another shrimp on the barbie.

This is nothing like a service pack. People need to stop saying this BS.

Windows is now on a yearly update cycle, like OS X. There will be no more service packs ever again. Instead we get a new OS with new features (even a new kernel, better battery life and less RAM usage), plus the usual bug fixes and patches within a service pack.

Its just a minor NT version increase, keep in mind they are on NT 8.0, This will be NT 8.1
Even though it will go from 6.2 to 6.3. Its not a full kernel upgrade.

Leonick said,

Yes, all service packs have been, they are just packs containing a bunch of mostly already released fixes as one download for convenience. This is a bit different containing actual feature changes to the OS.

Seeing how MS is pushing desktop Windows as their tablet platform I think it's pretty likely this will be a free upgrade though, they'll go by the example set by iOS and Android.


But XP SP2 was not a Service Pack, it introduced new functionalities and capabilities. Actually there was an intense debate at MS about how to handle it. At the time Jim Allchin, a great guy and manager, pushed very hard and it was released as free upgrade instead of " XP SE". I do not think MS should charge for W8.1 and I am confident they will not. Of course only time will tell...

Raa said,
Looks really good! Can't wait to see how it continues to shape up!
an i always thought Manure looked good to

Besides the change in UI, it seems like Windows 8 search picks up a lot less than Windows 7 search. Maybe it's just a matter of fiddling with the settings, but I've noticed that Windows 8 tends not to pick up things like settings files and so on.

grayscale said,
you're talking about this leaked build?

No, just Windows 8 in general. I don't have the patience to keep up with every build

The reason why it doesn't show setting and files is because you aren't selecting the settings and files section?

Windows 8 splits search into apps, settings and files (and then various programs).

-Razorfold said,
The reason why it doesn't show setting and files is because you aren't selecting the settings and files section?

Windows 8 splits search into apps, settings and files (and then various programs).

I didn't really mean actual settings. I meant, say, internal settings files (.ini and so on) for programs I might have installed. I used to be able to pull this stuff up with Windows 7, but 8 doesn't seem to want to grab it for me.

THolman said,
Besides the change in UI, it seems like Windows 8 search picks up a lot less than Windows 7 search. Maybe it's just a matter of fiddling with the settings, but I've noticed that Windows 8 tends not to pick up things like settings files and so on.

If you are regular windows 8 user you should know that windows 8 has three categories for search(App, Settings, Files), you have to select one of those to get result related to that category. In windows 7 all of them come at once so it looks like windows 7 showing more results but in reality windows 8 search is better.

francescob said,
This. changes. everything!

Agreed, this does in fact change everything. Add back the Start Button to launch either search or Start Page, and this thing is going to turn around quickly.

MorganX said,

Agreed, this does in fact change everything. Add back the Start Button to launch either search or Start Page, and this thing is going to turn around quickly.

+1

This would be perfect. I (and I am sure many others as well) have been bitchin about this since Windows 8 beta. Such a simple compromise (yet, a not of fanboys think it is a bad idea or "don't see the point").

Now I with that the search bar could be made semi-transparent. It takes a lot of the screen. Or could (would?) the screen shrinks temporarily to accommodate the search so it doesn't overlays 1/3 of the desktop?