Windows 8.1 Update 1 now looking like April

Windows 8.1 Update 1 now looking like April

Summary: Microsoft's new ship target for its coming Windows 8.1 Update 1 may have shifted from March to April, according to sources.


I've heard from two of my sources in the past week that Microsoft's ship target for Windows 8.1 Update 1 has shifted from March 2014 to April 2014.


The idea remains to use Patch Tuesday to distribute the coming so-called "Spring" update via Windows Update, my sources said. If that is the case, Windows 8.1 Update 1 should be pushed to users on April 8, rather than March 11.

Windows 8.1 Update 1 is a collection of features and fixes for Windows 8.1. Most of the new features are aimed at making Windows 8.1 more palatable to those who prefer using a mouse to navigate the latest Windows release.

A leaked Windows 8.1 Update 1 test build (from mid-January) showed off a number of the expected new features, including the ability to pin Metro apps to the Desktop task bar; new right-clickable context-sensitive menus; and adding dedicated search and power buttons to the Start screen. A new Enterprise Mode for Internet Explorer 11 is also part of the leaked build, according to some who've downloaded it.

There were reports that Windows 8.1 Update 1 might change the default start-up experience so that the desktop, rather than the Metro Start screen became the default on all machines running Update 1. As I noted last week, I heard this is not Microsoft's plan. Those downloading the leaked Windows 8.1 Update 1 build from January noted that boot-to-desktop was not set as the default configuration.

Windows leaker WZor indicated on February 2 that a more likely scenario may be that boot to desktop will be installed by default on new PCs/devices without a touch screen. Users who are upgrading from Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.1 Update 1 who don't have boot to desktop set as their default already also won't see their settings change to boot to default, according to WZor.

I am not sure why the ship target for Update 1 has allegedly been pushed back a month, but have heard that the original March target was fairly ambitious. OEMs are still likely to get the Windows 8.1 Update 1 bits in early March for preloading on new PCs, my sources said.

Topics: Windows 8, Microsoft, Tablets, PCs, IT Policies


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Any word on WP Blue?

    Is that still coming April 1?
    x I'm tc
    • also any word on the lumia 929????

  • Or to put it another way

    W8 SP2

    Shhhhh... we don't call them service packs anymore.
    Alan Smithie
    • Shhhh . . . It Isn't A Service Pack

      Service Packs has only have fixes, not enhancements. ;)
      • Not really true

        Service packs have brought lots of new features, historically. Only lately have SPs been security only.
        x I'm tc
        • Lately?

          That is since Windows XP Service Pack 2... almost 10 years ago. While it's true that service packs also improved hardware compatibility along with hotfixes, there were no new UI features like that ever since then.
    • SP, not really..

      Yes, it will have the rollup fixes that a SP would, but this adds features and changes the way you interact with the OS. That's no SP.
      • Windows NT Service Pack 4

        Added Features.

        Maybe you're too young to remeber.
        • Right...

          ... but how long is that ago? 20 years? And how many SPs were released in the meantime that didn't include features? Let's just settle on that SPs have died, now it's updates and point releases.
      • Service packs have often added features

        Not necessarily things the user sees.. but API changes, all the time. With XP for example, most modern applications only work on XP SP3.

        The main reason Microosoft moved to "It's a new OS" rather than "It's a service pack" is the competition. Apple releases a new version of MacOS X about once a year. A new version of iOS is released every year. There are usually two versions of Android released in a year.

        Under the old model, Microsoft seems to be moving very slow. And sure, they may actually be embracing the "it's a new version of the OS, things can change" philosophy a bit... but that had always been possible in service packs. Today, they just have the other market forces pushing things to change faster.
  • Microsoft is finally listening to reason

    The W8 saga is a cautionary tale about how difficult it is to get real-life consumer feedback in an age of narcissism and social media. While Windows 8 fanboys were perhaps the most vocal leading up to the launch, their impact on consumer feedback was nothing more than old fashioned ballot stuffing; they were loud and obnoxious, but they were a minority and consequently the "positive" feedback to the new OS was grossly overestimated.

    Even so, I'm still not clear how Microsoft could think it was a good idea to throw their desktop customers under the bus. Better late than never I suppose.
    • 100% CORRECT!

      You hit the nail on the head! It's amazing that they say they're releasing the update to accommodate their "keyboard and mouse users". WHO DID THEY THINK WAS USING THEIR OPERATING SYSTEMS??? You would think that after Vista, they would have learned their lesson. But NOOOO... after getting Windows 7 right, they go and screw it up all over again with "Metro"! It's "Metro" alright...
      • The World is using Metro

        Metro UI for hate it gets from some is being used as the main design language, Apple, Google, app developers etc are all using Metro's flat, Clean Tiled like OS, Look at the new Samsung Tablets if some hate Metro then I expect them to hate Samsung new tablets seeing as to how they are basically copies of Windows 8 in Live Tile homescreens and implementation.
        I love Windows 8 besides you can get Windows 7 experience in the desktop Tile, Windows 7 feels old compared to Windows 8, why the hell would I want for eg. A weather Icon when I can have a Live tile that gives me the current temperature at a glance.

        I believe the majority who hate Windows 8 have never used it but loves bashing MS, or they used it for a short time before quitting etc. Windows 7 sucks compared to Windows 8.
        • I have no idea what you are talking about

          there are no Apple or Samsung tablets (except for Samsung's Windows 8 tablets) with a Metro interface. The only Metro tiled start screen you'll find at this time is the you get in Windows.

          If you're referring to the relatively flat look in iOS7, yes, the iconography has been simplified, been made less skeuomorphic, and rides on top of the Parallax effect. But it still by and large looks like iOS. There are no tiles to be found anywhere.
          • Visit apple shops

            Take a tour to one of Apple shops and ask for ipad and iPhone plus Samsung.
          • Tiles are Icons, just with background colors

            Which is the point. On mobile devices, having icons/tiles is basically the same thing, large hit targets for fingers.
        • I agree

          I agree with you 1000%.
        • So true bxbrian, so true

          Windows 8.1 is head and shoulders above Windows 7, and XP is a security dinosaur. If you try Windows 8 in desktop mode, and learn the basics of it, the benefits and ease of use for Windows 8 will not baffle you. In less than an hour you should be able to do 95% of what you need to do easily, and know how to find help for the remaining 5%. If you can't do that, the problem is you, not Windows 8.
      • Android

        Has always had a relatively "flat" look. The current "magazine" look in Android came out long before anything from Microsoft.

        Samsung's Magazine UI isn't a program launcher, it's a typical home shell, just with some more capable widgets. Microsoft's tiles UI is a mess, precisely because it's not what Samsung did here (which is just a version of what's been in Android all along). Android separates the home shell (eg, mobile desktop) from the program launcher.... just like pretty much any desktop OS, including classic Windows. The main difference is that there are multiple screens -- Google's own home shell has five screens, Samsung's can have any number.

        I can put a program shortcut on a home shell screen. But most of what you see in those Samsung demos are widgets, which predate "Live Tiles" by years. They do the same job, just that widgets are far more flexible -- they can be different shapes, not just tiles. And there's no requirement to mix "desktop" with "program launcher"... I get quick information from the home screen, maybe with a shortcut or two for commonly used apps, and have a pop-up menu for the remaining 200 apps and widgets. More efficient than the single "everything mixed together" live tile interface.
        • Efficient has different contexts

          Having "everything mixed together" is more efficient for a developer than having to build a widget as well as build the app. Being inclusive makes part of that easier to do, for the developer.

          As for the user, tiles are actually quite handy, if using large tiles for programs that update them well (weather/maps/stocks being examples that I like). We used to have desktop gadgets which did the same thing as the widgets (with potentially more power), but Live Tiles is a decent replacement. The best improvement would be to have the start screen be sizable like the apps, then it could take 1/3rd of one of my monitors continually, and I could have the live tiles I like to view in the viewport. Sort of a merger of the desktop and start menu (like the start screen seems to want to be).