updated 10:47 am EST, Wed January 22, 2014
Option to add Metro apps to taskbar spotted in leaked screenshots
Microsoft's first major update to Windows 8.1 could bring more integration between Metro-style apps and the Windows desktop, according to leaked images. Icons for Metro apps, typically running separate from the desktop itself, have been spotted on the taskbar in some screenshots, suggesting that users will be able to switch quickly from desktop mode to the app through an alternative means to what is currently offered.
The images from Russian site Wzor spotted by The Verge also shows a new option in the taskbar's properties window, offering to "Show Store apps on the taskbar." Earlier rumors suggest that the next version of Windows, codenamed "Threshold" but could be called Windows 9, will allow Metro apps to run on the desktop within its own Window. It is possible that this taskbar change is a step towards this, though it is not currently believed that the Metro-apps-on-desktop functionality will be added before Threshold's release in 2015.
Windows 8.1 Update 1 is reported to be set for release during the Microsoft Build 2014 conference in early April.