Windows 8.1 update may bring Metro and desktop closer

The next update to Windows 8 could bring the two different interface modes closer together.

Nic Healey Senior Editor / Australia
Nic Healey is a Senior Editor with CNET, based in the Australia office. His passions include bourbon, video games and boring strangers with photos of his cat.
Nic Healey

Newly leaked screenshots from the next Windows 8 update have hinted that Microsoft may be looking at more integration between desktop and Metro modes.

(Credit: Sarah Mitroff/CNET)

As reported by The Verge, Russian leaker WZor has published a number of screenshots (on LiveJournal of all places) showing Metro apps pinned to the desktop toolbar, along with a new option to "show Store apps on the taskbar".

It all seems to be part of Microsoft's lead up to Windows 9 — now rumoured to be on track for an April 2015 delivery. Windows 9 will reportedly feature a "Metro 2.0" interface that will allow Store apps to run on the desktop in separate windows.

It's unclear if any of this functionality will be present in the Windows 8.1 update, or if opening a Store app from the task bar will just send you to the Start screen.

Either way, it won't be a long wait to find out — the update is expected to coincide with Microsoft's 2014 Build conference which runs from 2-4 April.

One of the leaked screenshots. (Credit: WZor)