Hello AskPerf Readers! Henry Chen here from the Devices & Deployment team. Today, I would like to spend some time highlighting some of the user experience changes in the shell for Windows 8.1 Update.

Windows 8.1 Update introduces numerous enhancements to the Desktop experience for mouse and keyboard users.

Start Screen

For mouse users, when right clicking anywhere on the Start Screen, a context menu will now appear in replacement of the command bar. The context menu provides the same options as what the command bar. Some of these commands are tile resizing, enable/disable live tile, and uninstall the application.

For devices with a screen larger than 8.5" and are not connected standby capable, Power and search controls can now accessible from the Start screen. For other devices, only the search control is available.

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Pin Apps to Taskbar

Users can now pin modern apps to the taskbar with the exception of modern Internet Explorer. Users can block this setting by unselecting "Show Windows Store apps on the taskbar" from the Taskbar and Navigation properties.

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Access taskbar from anywhere

When you are using a mouse, you can see the taskbar from any screen, including Start or a Windows Store app. Move your mouse pointer below the bottom edge of the screen to show the taskbar and then click an app to open or switch to it.

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Modern App User Interface (UI)

Your mouse works more consistently anywhere in Windows. When moving the mouse to the top of the screen, the close and minimize buttons will appear from within Windows Store apps.

For devices that are touch enabled, users will continue to use the close gesture (From top edge, tap and hold dragging to bottom of the screen for a few seconds).

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These are just some of the user experience changes available in Windows 8.1 Update. Let us know what you think or if you have any questions regarding these changes.

Enjoy!

For more information and to view the complete list of new features, check the following links:

What’s new in Windows 8.1 Update and Windows RT 8.1 Update?

Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2 Update April, 2014

-Henry