I am running Windows 8.1 Update 1 — some people are calling this Windows 8.1.1 and should be available to the general public the first week of April 2014. There are many small enhancements throughout but the task bar is the one thing that really stands out to me. As you can see in the image below there are traditional icons and modern icons intermingled on the task bar. What’s interesting is that the modern icons don’t have the same rich feature set as their traditional counterparts. Notice in the two Lync icons that only the traditional icon has my presence indicator — the modern version is just a static icon. Likewise with Internet explorer. You don’t see it in the screenshot but the modern icon only shows a thumbnail of the active website — it does not show a preview for every open tab.
This is undoubtedly a transition release until Windows 9 is available. In Win9 we should see enhanced icons as well modern apps running in a windowed environment. All these are features I asked for when Windows 8 was originally released 18 months ago.
(Click to see full-size image)