Windows 8.1 Update 1… A Gigantic Step in the Right Direction

Yes, I have another Windows 8.1 blog entry but as you can see from the title of this blog entry it’s going to be a good one for the version of Windows that I have spread so much hate about on this site.

Two of the biggest improvements that I’ve seen so far in Update 1 is that on the Metro start screen the taskbar will continue to live on the bottom of the screen just like it does on the desktop. Metro apps will also be able to be pinned to the taskbar as well.

But there is one more improvement that I find that takes it not just one step but a GIGANTIC STEP in the right direction is the inclusion of minimize and close buttons on the top of Metro apps in full screen mode. About freakin’ time! This answers the whole question… how do I close this app? There’s no X button in the upper right corner of the app like on traditional Windows programs.

There’s also some talk about how the Start Menu of old will be returning in perhaps a Windows 8.1 Update 2. It will blend the best of Metro and the best of the old Start Menu; Metro widgets.
newstartmenu
Yes, the image is small but it still will show what I want to point out. Notice on the left side of new Start Menu, the part of the Start Menu of old that we all love. And what’s that on the right side? Metro widgets, I mean tiles. A perfect blend of the old and the new. Now this is something that I can definitely get behind.

There’s also some talk that Metro full screen apps will run in a window on traditional desktops with a keyboard and mouse. Perhaps that will be included in a future Windows 8.1 Update 2.

All in all, Windows 8.1 Update 1 is a gigantic step in the right direction for Microsoft. They have finally listened to what we’ve been screaming on the top of our lungs for the past two years. If I were to run Windows 8.1 Update 1 today I’d still need to install a replacement Start Menu and install ModernMIX to make Metro apps be windowed but this update makes Windows 8.1 far more usable than it has ever been in the past for a traditional desktop user with a keyboard and mouse.

Now, if only they would bring Aero translucent Windows I’d be happy as a clam.

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