Win 8.1 Update May Boot to Desktop for Non-Touchscreens

The first update for Windows 8.1 may be one of the more scrutinized updates in history, as Microsoft-watchers try to assess where the transitioning company is heading with its operating system. New reports suggest a variety of additional possibilities and a launch date that may now be in April.

The first wave of details last week were based on a leaked early build for Update 1, as well as screen shots and unnamed sources. Now a second leaked build is floating around.

Reports indicate that apps using the "Modern" or tile user interface will have the Jump List feature that was first introduced in Windows 7. By right-clicking on a Modern app pinned to the taskbar, a user can access recent documents, images, songs or Web sites relating to that app.

Media Controls

Audio- and video-player apps that play in the background, like YouTube's, are expected to show miniature media controls if a user hovers over the app in the taskbar. The taskbar itself is available from anywhere in the OS, even in a Modern app, by bringing one's cursor to screen bottom or using the Windows key plus the letter "T."

Other anticipated changes include the requirement of a password through User Account Control whenever a new program will be installed, whether or not the account is standard or administrator.

Last week, there were rumors that search and power buttons will be added to the upper right corner of the Start screen, and that there will now be the ability to pin and preview in the taskbar an app that uses the "Modern" or tile-based UI.

There have also been reports that users will boot into the desktop user interface by default if they have a non-touchscreen computer, and they can navigate to the Modern tiles UI from there. Touch systems would...

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