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In Windows 8.0 to close an app you drag down along the horizontal median from the top to the bottom of the screen. The user is rewarded with a nice vanishing animation.

In Windows 8.1, this is exactly the same. However, if you don't let go, but just hold your app at the bottom of the screen - after 3 seconds it flips over.

Why?

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Well, according to here and here, dragging an app to the bottom of the screen "tombstones" the app. This removes it from your list of active apps and suspends all app activity until it is opened again, and it resumes where it left off. If an app is tombstoned and your computer needs more memory, it will start to delete tombstoned apps from memory

When the app flips over, however, all processes associated with that app are terminated (the app closes everything associated with it).

For some more detailed into on tombstoning see this link on MSDN Blogs - specifically the part "Suspending apps in the background"

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  • Oh wow, I did not know that they added the ability to actually close apps without going to the taskmanager and killing them. Awesome, thanks for this. – Mark Allen Jan 3 '14 at 23:08
  • Yep. I definitely think the Windows Product Group would take issue with the use of the term "tombstoning" insofar as Windows, but the difference is 1) Drag down == suspend 2) Drag down, wait == suspend, terminate. Thanks for your response. answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/… – Jerry Nixon Jan 6 '14 at 3:18

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