Windows 8.1 Update 1 adds an interesting Disk Space utility to PC Settings which lets you monitor and control the disk space used by Modern apps, media and files, and the Recycle Bin. This new interface augments a similar interface from Windows 8 that lets you examine the disk space used by apps.

Looking at the Update 1 feature set, it's pretty clear that the aim here is the same as was the aim of Windows 8.1: To make the OS more acceptable to those who will use the system purely on a touch-based tablet or hybrid PC, or solely on a traditional, non-touch PC. That is, the goal of Update 1 isn't to make the new Windows work better only with one class of hardware. It's to make the experience more seamless regardless of the type of PC hardware you prefer.

The Disk Space utility falls on the multi-touch-based Modern side of the fence. And like many of the PC Settings additions that were made in the original release of Windows 8.1, this utility makes it possible for tablet and hybrid PC users to do something with a native touch interface that previously required a foray into the touch-unfriendly desktop environment.

This new utility can be found in PC Settings, PC and Devices, Disk Space. It provides a free space overview plus three basic areas of functionality:

Apps. Here, you can see how much space all of the apps that are installed (to the currently signed-in account only) take up on disk. If you tap the "See my app sizes" link, you will navigate to the App Sizes utility (in PC Settings, Search and Apps, App Sizes) that has been available since Windows 8.0. This interface displays your installed apps (again, only for the currently signed-in account) in order of size of disk, and you can uninstall them individually from here if desired.

Media and files. This section lists the amount of disk space taken up by your pictures, music, videos, documents and downloads. The curious bit: It's not interactive. That is, you can't click on an item (say, Documents) and then go manage the storage there in any way. (Nor can you manage libraries from within the Modern environment, still.)

Recycle Bin. Here, we finally see a way to manually empty the Recycle Bin from within the Modern environment, though there is no link to view the contents of the Recycle Bin first. (You can use the SkyDrive app to browse the local file system, but this doesn't include the Recycle Bin either.)

Revolutionary? No. But I think that's the point of Update 1, which is essentially a feature pack: Fill in the small missing bits. These kinds of changes, while small, really do add up.