On April 2, 2014, Microsoft announced an update to Windows 8.1. The major elements in this update are:
- Easy-to-access Power and Search buttons added to the Start screen
- Added desktop functionality with taskbar available any time by pointing to bottom of screen
- Added taskbar functionality with ability to pin Windows Store apps an Internet bookmarks to the taskbar
- Added app features with ability to display Close and Minimize buttons by pointing to top of a Windows Store app
Easier access to your favorite apps and key controls:
On the Start screen of select devices you will now find Power and Search buttons at the upper-right corner next to your account picture. You can now more quickly shut down your PC if you need to and do a search right from the Start screen.
If you like using the desktop, you will be happy to know that select devices will now boot to desktop as the default setting. And on your taskbar, you can now pin both desktop apps and apps from the Windows Store as well as your favorite websites. You can pin any app you want to the taskbar so you can open or switch between apps right from the desktop. You can also access the taskbar from anywhere when you’re using a mouse; you can see the taskbar on any screen by moving your mouse to the bottom edge of your screen. Just click on any of the apps pinned to your taskbar to open or switch to them.
More familiar mouse and keyboard options:
Microsoft lets your mouse work more consistently anywhere in Windows. If you move your mouse to the top of the screen when using a Windows Store app, you will see the familiar Close and Minimize buttons. When you move your mouse to the bottom of the screen in a Windows Store app, the taskbar comes up.
On the Start screen, if you right-click on an app tile, you will get a context menu next to the app tile that shows you what you can do with the tile, like unpin from Start, pin to the taskbar, change the tile size or even uninstall the app. Right-clicking on an app tile on the Start screen works just like right-clicking on something on the desktop.
Simpler way to find new apps:
After installing the update, you’ll find the Windows Store is now pinned to the taskbar by default so you can easily discover new apps (yes, you can unpin it if you don’t want it there).