Windows 8.1 build 9471 leaked late last night and we went hands on to show you some of the new changes and improvements included in the build. However we didn’t go over everything. Build 9471 includes additional changes which we didn’t talk about in our hands on, including Assigned Access mode, pre-installed Skype, improved Calendar, Reading List and Health + Fitness apps as well as new tutorial modes.
Skype being pre-installed means the death of the original Messaging app, which was not included in the Windows 8.1 Preview. On our system we were unable to launch the app, it seemed to crash constantly. But we can confirm that the app is identical to the current Windows 8 app which can be downloaded from the store.
The Health and Fitness, Calendar and Reading List apps have received updates. The Health and Fitness app now supports a new user interface to match the Bing Food and Drink app. The calendar now includes a new ‘What’s Next?’ tab which allows you to see all your upcoming events and appointments on your calendar. Reading List was updated to include help tips on first launch which when selected open Internet Explorer and lead to an FAQ website by Microsoft.
Upon opening our first app, this handy little help tip appeared telling us to move our mouse into the bottom left corner to get back to Start. This changes depending on what device you are using, if you have a touch screen it would tell you to swipe in from the right, but as we were using a non-touchscreen laptop it was telling us how to use the mouse. Pretty helpful for those who are moving from Windows XP.
Assigned Access is back in this build. Assigned Access allows users to lock down accounts to one particular Windows 8 app. It appears however that people have already found a way to get out of the lock once Assigned Access mode has been started. Microsoft might want to look at fixing that before Windows 8.1 hits RTM.Further reading: Microsoft, Windows 8.1