Any similarity between North America’s emergency call number is purely co-incidental, but it is an emergency number in the sense that Microsoft are trying to appease disgruntled desktop users.
The new version sets a start button which diverts to the Windows 8 desktop as the default view, and two icons appear in the top right of the screen, one to give desktop users a reference point to type in searches, and the other to access STOP and RESTART functions. Tiles will also get more controls.
Is it enough to appease desktop users? Not really, but I would imagine that this is by design.
Windows 8 will always be remembered for METRO (phffft), and for Microsoft to recover, the next version of Windows for desktops must be as far removed from Metro as possible. If too much work is done to 8, Windows 9 will not be greeted by a huge sigh of relief, and if there is one thing that Windows desktop users need, it is to be able to breathe a huge sigh of relief.
For desktop users who install 8.1.1, there will most likely be a need to disable the new default Start button to stop it conflicting with Start8 or Classic Shell, and changes to the tile functions will pass unnoticed.
The sad part is that Windows 8 could have been a real success for everybody, but instead was marred by what seem to me to be deliberate acts of vandalism.
Anyway, enough of the recriminations. It is entirely possible to get a good experience from Windows 8, and Microsoft are attempting to soften the blow for those who like the tiles but are frustrated with how they work.
There are some leaked screenshots here showing us what to expect from 8.1.1..