We are just 20 short days away from Build 2013 and the day Microsoft is expected to release the public preview version of Windows 8.1, the next big update to Windows 8. During Computex 2013, Microsoft showcased Windows 8.1 in a demo and we were able to catch our first glimpse at the new Windows Store layout and Start Screen settings.
As you can see from the image above, and the first image below, the new Windows Store layout is simpler (minimalistic) and much more organized than before. Microsoft mentions that as the Store continues to grow in apps, so must the Windows Store experience in order for users to find the apps they need or should try out. The new Windows Store features bigger imagery and a search bar to help users navigate and browse through the many apps available.
In Windows 8.1, you can right click the taskbar to see the Taskbar and Navigation properties. In this dialog, you can adjust some settings for the Start Screen, allowing you to use your desktop background as your Start Screen background. Users can also boot directly to the desktop via an option on the dialog. Users can even force the Apps view when visiting the Start Screen, rather than seeing your tiles. Last but not least, you can allow the Start Screen to showcase desktop apps first in your Apps list. Take a look at the screenshot below.
Windows 8.1 is almost upon us. 20 days until the public preview build! Stay tuned!
Further reading: Microsoft, Windows 8, Windows Blue