Windows 8.1 update 1 leak, download: User-friendly changes to start screen?

Published 03 February 2014  |  

It's safe to say that Windows 8 has not gone down well with users and desktop users in particular are crying out for a straightforward interface. 

Well, the Windows 8.1 upgrade may just give them that when it releases hopefully some time in March, although it could be into April before it's finally out. 

Images leaked via Win8China and Russian blogger WZor have been doing the rounds on file sharing sites and if the leaked images are what Microsoft decides to go with, we're going to see exactly the kind of straightforwardness that's been missing in Windows 8 so far. 

First of all, there is a title bar for the apps at the top of the screen, making it much easier for point-and-click devices to navigate. 

While Windows 8 has always worked much better on touchscreen devices, desktop users have struggled with it.  It seems like Microsoft has taken their complaints on board with these modifications.   

In addition to the title bar, the start screen will also feature a search icon and a power button, making these functions much more convenient.  Until now the search function had to be pulled out from the side panel on the right. 

The desktop will also feature a new window that users can access modern UI apps from without having to come out of the desktop. 

Other changes making the UI flow a little more nicely for non-touchscreen users will be taksbar shortcuts for apps, and a simple "X" to easily close down the app. 

Users will be able to right click on the Start screen to open up a popup menu where they can then choose to unpin or pin apps to the Taskbar, or resize.

Why they didn't just include all of this in the original Windows 8 is anyone's guess.

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