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New leak shows how Microsoft plans to make Metro UI less annoying

Published Feb 3rd, 2014 3:15PM EST
Windows 8.1 Update Leak

The Metro user interface that Microsoft unveiled with Windows 8 has spawned a cult of haters but the company isn’t done coming up with ways to make its live tiles less annoying to its user base. The Verge reports that a leaked build of a new Windows 8.1 update slated to launch next month contains new features aimed at easing some big pain points on the Metro display. 

Among other things, Microsoft a search button and a shutdown button at the top of the screen, which should give users a much more intuitive way to perform basic computing tasks from the Metro screen. The new update will also include “a new title bar for Microsoft’s Windows 8-style apps, allowing you to close, minimize, and snap apps side-by-side with a mouse” that “appears to be included as more of a helpful option for mouse users to quickly navigate apps,” The Verge writes.

The leaked Windows 8.1 update is just the latest indication that Microsoft is working to make Windows 8 more friendly to desktop users who don’t see much use for Microsoft’s touch-centric interface. Microsoft brought back the Start button for Windows 8.1’s desktop mode and it’s rumored to be bringing back the full Start menu for a major update that it will release in 2015. In a nod to many users’ dislike of Metro, Microsoft will also reportedly have Windows 8.1 boot straight to the desktop mode by default in its next Windows 8.1 release.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.