Leaked screenshots of the next Windows 8.1 update show that Microsoft is working to return its OS to usability for those with a keyboard and mouse setup.
As featured on Russian website WZor, the screenshots show a Windows Store app icon present in the desktop taskbar. Previously you’d have to access this through the resurrected Start menu – or, of course, in its natural ‘Metro’ environment.
The ability to pin such Metro apps to the desktop taskbar is confirmed by looking at the open Taskbar and Navigation properties window that’s open above. This reveals a new checkable option to “Show Store apps on the task bar.”
Of course, if those apps are just going to run in full screen anyway, it might be argued that there’s little point to this particular addition. Still, one step at a time, eh?
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In another move to restore Windows 8 to mouse-led usability, Windows blogger Paul Thurrot has revealed that Microsoft will add a close box to Metro apps. Like desktop apps, this will enable heavy mouse users to close applications in the default Windows 8 view with a simple click in place of the standard gesture or keyboard shortcuts.
Microsoft is rumoured to be planning more sweeping changes in a subsequent update code-named ‘Threshold,’ which some commentators are referring to as Windows 9. This will apparently add things like windowed Metro apps and a full Start Menu, but it’s not scheduled for release until April 2015.
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