As a certain cartoon character likes to say, shiver me timbers, blow me down! Microsoft, it seems, is going all out in order to give the Metro UI another big push for success.

This latest screenshot from a fairly reliable source reveals that Metro apps can not only be launched from the desktop, they can actually be launched on the desktop — that is, in their very own window right on the desktop.

The image above from PCPortal shows one such app running in windowed mode.

What this means is that desktop users on Windows 8.1 might soon be able to run Modern UI apps in a familiar environment, even if the Metro environment is not their cup of tea.

And while the Metro apps run just like a regular software application, other details are not exactly clear, including whether users will be allowed to resize the windows manually to whatever size they want, or whether these will be locked in this maximized state.

Then again, it is hard to accurately gauge the authenticity of this in the first place — the image could easily have been forged, it’s not actually the hardest thing in the world to do so, really.

On the other hand, this information from @AngelWZR, the famous leaker, claims that this is actually a modern version of the taskbar that shows up on top of Metro apps. It is hidden when the app is full screen, but can easily be called back up when needed.

This is where the plot thickens, then.

But if Microsoft is ready to bring a feature like pinning of Metro apps on the desktop, then something like this does not seem all that out of place. In fact, it makes sense to do so now, instead of Windows 9 as was previous rumored.

Still, with just over a month remaining before Windows 8.1 Update 1 starts rolling out, we ought to have a lot more details heading our way before the March 11 Patch Tuesday.

In the meantime, do let your feelings known on this new change in the comments below.

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  1. Sorry. I don’t see the windows frame. I only see the app occupied the whole desktop.

    • If it’s the desktop, the app is running full frame. If it’s the standard full screen of the Modern UI, with a taskbar that pops up by tapping or pointing the mouse to the lower part of the screen, then it’s delightfully surprising.

      If it’s a hoax, then it’s rather elaborate.

      • I would say it is running full screen in desktop but not in a window mode. Otherwise, we should see a frame on the left or right side of the app. But now, I see nothing.

        • Agreed. However, I can see Microsoft going with out frame borders on the left and right and bottom when it eventually brings Metro apps in their very own windows.

          Just a small bar on top, and then a clean package on the three sides.

  2. Oh wait. I do see the letters “p” and “g” extended into the taskbar. Does it mean we get the Aero glass back?

    • Interesting, though it could also just be the transparency applied to the website name playing tricks. But if Aero is back, then Microsoft sure seems to be going all in for UI familiarity.

      • There is third party software to activate Aero in windows 8. That means the code is still there. It’s really depended if MS wants to re-activate the code. Not a hard job to achieve.

  3. The fact that the Paint icon is active on the taskbar makes me wonder… Also the aspect ratio of the screen seems weird, too high for its width. There are only six icons including the start button on that taskbar and they take almost half of it, it should be about or less than a third in most resolutions, I think. The image could be distorted horizontally, but letters and photos would also look distorted.

  4. Rodney Longoria / January 31, 2014 at 10:03 am /Reply

    Maybe this is how it will look, but this doesn’t appear to be a legit leak. Too many things just don’t look right to me, so I’m calling it out as bullshit.

    Also, looking at this, it seems you would be scrolling horizontally within the app as you would in the Metro app … which kind of makes sense if it were a link to said Metro app on the desktop.

  5. Maurice Manton
    I think it looks great. I sure hope it is true. It will make more people switch to Win 8.1

  6. Darlington Jones / February 3, 2014 at 2:52 am /Reply

    They are too darn slow

  7. No it doesn’t at all. it shows a store app running (as it always has) in full screen mode with the taskbar on the bottom which WILL be a feature of update 1. Watch the winbeta video of the leaked update 1 build and you will see that launching a store app from the taskbar KEEPS the taskbar present on top of the store app. The taskbar disappears as it should do but does not re-appear when you mouse / swipe from the bottom which is a bug in the build, just as the top ‘x to close’ bar is also not stable.

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