One thing is a given. Redmond’s modern operating system is more than just an operating platform. The built-in Metro apps in Windows 8, unlike the default programs in earlier versions of Windows, are not just highly dynamic but the company also updates them regularly.

And the upcoming Windows 8.1 comes with a fair few refreshes to these Modern UI apps.

The software titan has, in many cases, completely redesigned many of these apps in Windows 8.1. And in order to ensure that users make the most of these updated apps, the company has started putting each renewed tool in the spotlight.

This time around the focus in on Xbox Music — this popular app has been redesigned, making it easier for users to manage and listen to their music from right within the Modern UI. The app now features a completely new design that integrates the company’s new Bing Smart Search.

Microsoft explains that this helps users find musicians, artists and bands instantly:

“Xbox Music in Windows 8.1 is designed around three pivots: your music collection, radio, and the Xbox Music Store (called Explore). Enthusiasts will see a real difference over Xbox Music in Windows 8. A few things worth noting, playback controls are no longer hidden and you can now control the volume specific to Xbox Music separately from the master volume of your device.”

In terms of features, Microsoft has also implemented an exciting new option that can be used to create playlists from any website that stores audio content:

“Coming to Xbox Music with Windows 8.1 on Oct. 18th – you will have the ability to use the Share charm in Windows 8.1 to share a webpage from the browser and have Xbox Music build a playlist based off any music it finds from that webpage (called Web Playlist)! Literally the web can start to be your front door to your music experience.”

Sounds very interesting — where do I sign up?!

Windows 8.1 is, obviously, on track for official launch on October 18. However, a number of leaked ISOs of the operating system are already available for download right now, providing eager users an early look into what the new OS brings.

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