Windows 8.1 build hints at Metro-based file manager

A new build of the update to Windows 8 points to a file manager for the Metro environment and better app window multitasking, says The Verge.

Lance Whitney
Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Windows 8.1 could be more user-friendly than its predecessor, at least based on the features revealed in the latest build.

Popping up on file-sharing sites this week, Windows 8.1 Build 9369 includes a new Files app branded with the SkyDrive logo, according to The Verge. The app itself lets you navigate both your local files and those stored on SkyDrive.

Multi-tasking has also been enhanced. When opening a Windows 8 app, users can decide whether to open it full-screen or alongside an existing app.

The addition of an apps button lets users more easily access the apps screen. By contrast, the current process requires that you right-click on the Start Screen and then choose All Apps from the apps bar.

Once on the apps screen, users can now also sort their apps by "most used" as well as by name and installed date. The apps screen also now lets you search for specific apps rather than having to drill through the entire list.

A video of Windows 8.1 (see below) created by blog site WinBeta takes you on a tour of the new features. The video reveals other changes in Windows 8.1, most notably a host of new options in the PC Settings screen

Rumors have surfaced that Microsoft is considering a "boot to desktop" setting and even a Start Button for the desktop. But neither of those features has yet surfaced in any Windows 8.1 build.