Forthcoming Windows 8.1 Update May Offer Ability to Open Apps in Desktop Mode

Windows 8 may not have been an instant hit with desktop users, but slowly and surely, Microsoft continues to improve upon the experience, most notably with the release of Windows 8.1. That's not the end of the road, however, as Microsoft has more tweaks in mind before the rumored launch of Windows 9 in 2015, starting with an update that's just around the corner.

Word around the water cooler is that the forthcoming update is slated for a spring release. Reiterating rumors that we've heard before, a Russian language website posted some supposed screenshots of the update, one of which shows an icon for the Windows Store app sitting pretty on the taskbar. There's a also a setting called "Show Store apps on the taskbar."

Windows Update
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What this seems to indicate (though it doesn't completely confirm) is that Microsoft is making an attempt to merge the Metro UI with the desktop. In other words, you may be able to open Metro apps in separate Windows on the desktop. While a move like this probably won't win over diehard Windows 7 users or XP holdouts, it would be a major (and welcome) improvement to the Windows 8.1 experience.

We won't know for sure what Microsoft has up its sleeve until its Build Developer Conference in April. Until then, let the rumors and leaked screenshots fly.