Leaked Windows 8.1 update shows Metro apps dropped on the Desktop

Windows 8.1 Taskbar
Metro apps cometh with Windows 8.1 update?

As Windows 9 makes its way towards reveal, Microsoft is still working the kinks out of Windows 8.1. The latest fix? A potentially improved merge of Metro apps with the regular Desktop.

Russian leaker WZor published some new screens possibly showing the forthcoming Windows 8.1 Update 1. The grabs reveal Metro apps pinned to the taskbar, plus a new option to "Show Store apps on the taskbar."

These Desktop additions aren't earth-shattering, but they do mark a shift to finally mesh together the duality of Windows 8.1 and future Microsoft operating systems.

Currently users have to pane back over to the tiled Start Menus to access apps like Calendar or Microsoft Word, and there's no way to simply create a desktop shortcut to Metro apps. Update 1 looks to change all that.

Putting the windows back in Windows

In December, we reported the Start menu would return with Windows 9, showing the old program list instead of the tiled look found in 8.1. Codenamed Threshold, the new OS is also slated to allow users to display Metro apps in a windowed mode instead of always being full-screen.

As it stands, Windows 8.1 is a two-part operating system. There's Desktop mode, which looks like good ol' Windows 7, and there's Modern mode, which displays full screen, touch-friendly apps off the Windows Store.

With the new Update 1 revelations, it seems Microsoft is laying the groundwork for Metro apps and the Desktop to play nice. We should see plenty of overlap with W9, but why wait until its probably 2015 release date to improve the OS' function?

Look for more on both Windows 8.1 Update 1 and Windows 9 during April's Build 2014.

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.