As you may know, Windows 8/RT ships with a hidden power user menu that puts often-needed tools right at your fingertips. This menu works as before after the Windows 8.1 update, but it’s been enhanced with additional tools.

I wrote about this hidden menu in Windows 8 Feature Focus: Power User Menu. To access it in Windows 8/RT today, you tap WINKEY + X on the keyboard or mouse into the lower-left corner of the screen and right-click when the Start tip appears.

After installing the Windows 8.1 update, the secret power user menu works similarly, though you can also access it by right-clicking anywhere on the new Start button while in the desktop environment as well. (You no longer have to navigate all the way to the bottom left corner.)

So what’s changed? There are new tools!

New to the Windows 8.1 version of the power user menu are:

Network Connections. Direct access to your network “connectoids.”

Windows PowerShell and Windows PowerShell (Admin). Open a new PowerShell command line window.

Shutdown. This one should please a lot of people: A sort-of Start menu-type way to access the PC’s shutdown and restart options.

Good stuff.