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Windows 8.1's first major update leaks online: improved Store app integration, time-saving tweaks

Mat Smith, @thatmatsmith
February 2, 2014
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Microsoft's incoming Windows 8.1 update might not make any grandiose changes, but it looks as if it will offer some appreciated navigation and start-up improvements. A new build has leaked online offering risky types the chance to try it several weeks before the official release. As teased last month, the update will let you pin your Windows Store apps alongside other programs on your desktop start bar. It sounds like a timesaving improvement, as before you'd have to labor through the Start screen to launch those aforementioned apps.

Windows 8-styled apps also pick up a new bar with close, minimize and snap options available to click on, forgoing those keyboard shortcuts or touch swipes. Live Tiles now have contextual menus available with a right click, making them easier to resize, move (or remove). A new shutdown button, as leaked just last week, also throws up a new drop-down menu for restarting, shutting down and sleep mode. This experimental build is apparently three weeks old already -- the real deal is expected to arrive next month.

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