Windows 8.1 Update 1 Preview: Hands-on with Build 16610

Windows 8.1 Update 1 Preview: Hands-on with Build 16610

Getting close to final

Just days after the first public leak of Windows 8.1 Update 1, we've received a second, more complete leak, which appears to be final or near-final code. Not surprisingly, this newer version includes a few more changes, plus some refinements to previously revealed features.

Check out my previous article, Windows 8.1 Update 1 Preview: Hands-on with Build 16596, plus Windows 8.1 Update 1: Modern Mouse Improvements and Windows 8.1 Update 1: Disk Space, for a rundown of what I've already found in the previous leaked build. This article will focus on the differences I'm seeing in the new build.

Title bar in Modern apps

As noted previously, there's a new black title bar available in all Modern apps when you're using a mouse or other pointing device. While you can display it as before by mousing up to the top of the screen, the title bar appears for a few seconds when the app loads now, too, as kind of a visual indicator that the feature is available. That's a nice little touch.

Taskbar ... in Modern apps!

When you mouse down to the bottom of the screen in a Modern app—gasp!—the desktop taskbar now appears. That's ... weird.

OneDrive now included

Not surprisingly, SkyDrive has been replaced by OneDrive in this new build. And it's everywhere: The Modern mobile app, in PC Settings (sync and so on) and the desktop integration bits.

Sadly, there are still no sync overlays on the OneDrive folder or its subfolders in File Explorer.

PC Settings, Recent

The default view in PC Settings, called Recent, has been updated a bit visually.

Boot to desktop?

Some people are reporting that Windows 8.1 Update 1 somehow forces a boot to the desktop if you're using traditional, non-touch PC hardware. Having only installed this build on a single traditional PC—an old-school desktop PC—I can report that that's not what I've seen ... on one PC. I'll try more soon. But you can of course still boot to the desktop if you'd like, as you can in Windows 8.1.

Update: I have now tested this on a few more PCs. On a traditional previous generation Ultrabook, and an even older original generation Ultabook it does indeed boot right to the desktop. With the touch-based Surface Pro 2, it boots to the Start screen. I won't state an assumption as a fact, but I do guess that the intention here is to do the right thing: Boot to Start on touch systems and to the desktop on non-touch systtems. I'll test more PCs over the weekend. --Paul

Nothing major, I guess. But I'll keep looking and report back if I find more. 

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.