If we're to believe the latest whispers around the web, Windows 8.1 Update 1 will be out in early April. As we draw closer to that rumored time frame, more and more details are coming to light about the update's desktop-friendly tweaks.
Paul Thurrott, for one, reports that you'll be able to bring up the Windows taskbar inside Modern UI apps simply by moving your mouse to the bottom of the screen. Modern UI apps will reportedly have title bars, too, which will pop up for a second after the app opens. Also, Thurrott says the taskbar will be customizable with shortcuts to both desktop and Modern UI software.
More exciting still, Thurrott has confirmed that Windows 8.1 Update 1 will boot to the desktop by default on some systems. He verified that behavior on a couple of older ultrabooks, which he says "indeed boot right to the desktop." Windows 8.1 Update 1 still brings up the Start screen by default on his Surface Pro 2 tablet, though—but that's probably a good thing.
In a separate report, McAkins Online says Modern UI apps will offer some of the same features as desktop apps when pinned to the taskbar. Jumplists will be supported, as will playback controls in taskbar thumbnails. (In other words, you'll be able to, say, pause music playback in a Modern UI app without tabbing over to it.) Last, but not least, there will apparently be a OneDrive sync icon in the taskbar, which will show "sync progress." (OneDrive, of course, is Microsoft's new name for SkyDrive.)