Windows 8.1 Leaks Abound: ‘Kiosk Mode’, Start button, and Search charm changes


Over the weekend Windows 8.1 leaked again. This time we got our eyes on some new features, and confirmed some previously rumored features as well. Four main things have come out of the leak: ‘Kiosk Mode,’ Start button, Search charm changes, and more Start screen customization. Let’s get right into it.

Windows 8 Kiosk Mode

Kiosk Mode in Windows 8.1 will allow users to lock the device to one app. In a real Kiosk you might find devices that are stuck running a demo video. Kiosk Mode will allow users to do something similar on their own device. This could be handy for businesses that have computers at terminals, or just personal use. Say you want to let someone use an app but don’t want them fiddling around elsewhere.


Windows 8 Start Button

Last week we heard that Microsoft was considering bringing back the Start button in Windows 8.1, and it looks like that is true. Like we mentioned last week the Start button is 8.1 is said to direct people to the Start screen, not a Start Menu. The icon will look like the one currently found in the Charms bar. Users have complained about the lack of a Start button since day one. This isn’t exactly what they had in mind, but at least Microsoft is willing to meet halfway.


Search Charm

Currently in Windows 8 when you perform a search with the Search Charm button it takes you to a full screen look at all the apps installed. From there you can choose Files, Settings, or specific apps to choose from. This happens when the app you’re in doesn’t support search. When using an app that does have Search a little screen slides in from the side that doesn’t take up the whole screen. This is how Search will look everywhere in Windows 8.1.


In Windows 8.1 there will be new customization options for the Start Screen. Live Tiles will be changed with a new “Edit/Customize” button instead. Once selected the Start Screen will dim, only selected tiles will light up. From there you can choose from new tile sizes or move it around. It’s a small thing, but it should make the process more clear.

What do you think of these changes? We’re pretty excited to get our hands on Windows 8.1. It seems like Microsoft is really taking the time to polish things up and fix a lot of the little issues. Windows 8.1 is already shaping up to be great!

[via The Verge]

  • don’t get too excited about the start button because all it will do is take you to the metro start screen..there will be NO menu with this button. the Kiosk Mode will probably be used to give you the option to bypass the start screen and to enable the start button.

  • Yep. Mentioned that in the article.