Leaked screenshots of Microsoft’s upcoming update to Windows 8.1 have emerged and is rumored to be due out as a free update for Windows 8.1 users in April 2014, around the same time as Microsoft’s yearly BUILD developers conference. The screenshots don’t show any new features from the operating system as the update is rumored to feature under-the-hood improvements to share code between Microsoft’s desktop and mobile operating systems. This means apps would work across Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1.
Notably absent is the rumored return of the Start Menu. Microsoft brought back the Start button in Windows 8.1 due to customer confusion but it still featured the radically new Modern UI interface. There have been rumors the company is considering bringing back the more traditional Start Menu found in Windows 7.
An anonymous source speaking to ZDNet revealed that Microsoft is working to make Windows 8.1 Update 1 more mouse and keyboard friendly for desktop users. When Windows 8 first debuted, it was obvious that Microsoft focused too much time on creating a touch friendly interface, leaving desktop power users out in the cold. Things have improved a bit in Windows 8.1 but there’s still more work to be done.