Microsoft shipped Windows 8.1 August Update yesterday, rolling out just a bunch of features that are supposed to contribute to an overall stability and performance improvement for those running Windows 8.1 on their PCs and tablet.
It appears however that the update also comes with a bug that makes the taskbar persistent across all applications, thus disabling the default behavior that allowed it to hide automatically in the Modern UI.
First reported by Neowin and confirmed by some of our users who have already installed Windows 8.1 August Update, the persistent taskbar seems to be more of a bug rather than a new feature, as in some cases, the taskbar remains always on top and it’s really difficult to access specific options of Modern apps.
The easiest way to try it out is to go over to the Start screen and move the mouse cursor to the bottom of the screen in order to make the taskbar show up. Simply launch a Modern app or scroll across the Start screen and, if the taskbar doesn’t hide automatically, then your Windows 8.1 August Update installation is suffering from the same issue.
We’ve already installed Windows 8.1 August Update on several computers, including some Surface tablets, and we haven’t yet experiencing this bug, but given the number of reports received from users, there’s no doubt that an issue really exists.
Microsoft hasn’t talked too much about the August Update, pretty much because it doesn’t bring anything too exciting, but the company has unveiled the changes it includes. Here are the three major improvements that are part of this release, although some might not need them at all:
• Precision touchpad improvements – three new end-user settings have been added: Leave touch pad on when a mouse is connected; allow right-clicks on the touchpad; double-tap and drag.
• Miracast Receive – exposes a set of Wi-Fi direct APIs for Independent Hardware Vendor (IHV) drivers or OEM drivers to develop Windows 32-bit applications that run on all supported x86-based or x64-based versions of Windows 8.1, enabling the computer as a Miracast receiver.
• Minimizing login prompts for SharePoint Online – reduces the number of prompts with federated use in accessing SharePoint Online sites. If you select the “Keep me signed in” check box when you log on for the first time, you will not see prompts for successive access to that SharePoint Online site.
The new pack of improvements is available via the automated Windows Update channels, but alternatively you can also download Windows 8.1 August Update manually.