The much-talked Windows 8.1 Update 1 (GDR1) is likely to be announced at the 2014 BUILD developer conference in San Francisco. According to recent rumors, the update integrates both post-RTM patches and hotfixes, and new features, designed to improve the interaction between the modern and desktop user interfaces.
The well-known Russian leaker, WZor has published some screenshots of a pre-release internal build 6.3.9600.16596.WINBLUES14_GDR_LEAN.140114-0237, which gives the first sign of “fusion” between the modern and desktop environments.
Although, there are no differences between the desktop interfaces of Windows 8.1 (current build) and the leaked one, except the Taskbar properties. As you can see an option to “Show Store apps on the taskbar” and the pinned icon of Windows Store app on the taskbar in the screenshot.
It’s not possible to determine whether a click will run the Windows Store in a window or in full screen mode (such as Windows 8.1). In any case, it’s the first visible change included in Windows 8.1 Update 1 that will gradually lead towards the Metro 2.0 of Windows 9.
According to Paul Thurrott of Winsupersite.com, Windows 8.1 Update 1 Modern apps can be closed with a button, like desktop applications. And perhaps, the software maker may inherit window button-style from Windows Media Center in full-screen mode.
The tipster will also publish the ISO of the leaked build on P2P networks soon. While the previous reports suggest that Microsoft will start distributing a pre-release version of Windows 8.1 Update 1 to OEMs by the end of the current month, followed by the RTM build by the end of March.
Update 1: Win8China has published a few more screenshots of Windows 8.1 Update 1 that give a more clear view of upcoming changes.
It also confirms the Store apps can only be pinned on the Taskbar in the current leaked build, still run in full-screen mode after clicking on the pinned shortcut.