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In the wake of today’s great news for Microsoft’s bank account (and stock market performance), it seems only fitting that we’d also get news about an update to its current operating system, Windows 8.1. A post on ZDNet cites an unnamed but supposedly “accurate and trusted source” that the next update to 8.1 will hit on March 11, and that it’ll bring more than a few features that users of the OS have been hoping for.

So what are those features? As we reported earlier this week, the update is expected to allow users to pin Metro Apps to the desktop taskbar. It’s a small addition in that it saves the user maybe one or two easy clicks to go from Desktop Mode back into Metro Mode, but it would go a long way to making the OS feel less like a tablet-optimized Frankenstein that Microsoft slapped together without realizing how people like to use computers. Indeed: this would be a welcome addition.

Moreover, the post also cites the same source that the update will shrink the amount of space that Windows 8.1 takes up on the hard drive, freeing up your disk space for stuff you actually want on there, and making it easier on smaller tablets. However, left out of this recent rumor round-up is the return of the “Start Menu,” meaning that hitting the little Windows icon in the bottom left corner will still bring users back into Metro Mode. The Start Menu could come back within the next 12 months, however. Alas.

So Windows 8.1 is getting a small update, with more updates to roll out over the next year. So at what point can we stop calling it 8.1 and just revert back to “Windows 8”? Differentiating between the two different flavors of OS is tiring. I can’t be the only one, can I?

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