Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2 Updates ready for volume licensees

Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2 Updates ready for volume licensees

Summary: Microsoft has made the latest updates for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 available to volume licensees.


Volume-licensing customers now can get the Windows 8.1 Update and Windows Server 2012 R2 Update from the Microsoft Volume-Licensing Service Center (VLSC).


Microsoft made the latest updates available to those users on April 14, as planned. In addition to those two updates, Microsoft also made the Update available to those volume licensees running Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry.

As Microsoft officials note in the Springboard Series Blog post announcing volume availability, the VLSC and MSDN updated media doesn't include the full set of fixes that those downloading the new Updates got via Windows Update. (MSDN/TechNet subscribers got the Updates on April 2; non-volume/non-MSDN Windows 8.1 users got the updates via Windows Update on April 8.)

As a result, "Windows Update and WSUS will offer the Update again to devices that are deployed by using this (MSDN and VLSC) media. This is expected and does not result in the full reinstallation of the Update but only a small component of it. The rest of the update will not be downloaded or reinstalled."

The Springboard post also acknowledges a problem discovered last week that affects a subset of Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) customers attempting to apply the Update to their machines. Those with WSUS 3.2 running on Windows Server 2003 SP2, Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2, Windows Server 2008 SP2 or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 are among those that may encounter problems. Microsoft is advising those affected by the WSUS glitch to read KB2959977 for guidance.

It's worth pointing out again that this Update for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 is a requirement for obtaining future patches, fixes and updates. Microsoft will no longer update those Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 users who don't apply these updates starting with the next Patch Tuesday, which is May 13.

Windows 8.1 Update makes Windows 8.1 more familiar and easily navigable by mouse and keyboard users. It includes other functionality, as well, including a new enterprise-compatibility mode for IE 11.

Windows 8.1 Update also can be installed on smaller and cheaper Windows 8 logo-certified devices with smaller disks in a way that leaves more room for apps and data. That new deployment option, called Windows Image Boot (or WIMBoot) is supported with all SKUs of Windows 8.1 Update. Here's more information on how WIMBoot works.

Update (April 16): Microsoft has fixed the WSUS issues and has extended the deployment deadline for the Updates from May to August for business users. More information here.


Topics: Windows 8, IT Priorities, Microsoft, 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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  • The messiest update experience since RTM

    Windows 8 has not been kind to how you upgrade a new computer. Windows 8 RTM was not fully baked, neither was Windows 8.1, now the Update 1 are pretty much the same. Seriously, a Windows 7 user would have every right to wait until Windows 9 Update 1 before they upgrade their computer. Seriously, every Enterprise, you have every right to skip Windows 8x.
    • Really?

      I've been problem-free.

      So tell me, what were your problems?
  • So they really are dropping support.

    "Microsoft will no longer update those Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 users who don't apply these updates starting with the next Patch Tuesday, which is May 13."

    So much for that vaunted "10 year support".
    • What are you talking about?

      EVERY 8.1 user can get 8.1.1 through WINDOWS UPDATE.

      For most people, it'll be automatic.
      • support for 8.1 is dropped.

        And a number of people cant go to 8.1.1 as the hardware requirements changed. Not much... but for some people it kills being able to update.
        • Do your research.

          8.1.1 LOWERED the minimum requirements needed.

          If your machine could run 8.1, then it can run 8.1.1.
  • Requirements haven't changed

    The requirements for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 are the same ( and in fact with the "boot from WIM" option now on Windows 8.1 Update 1 the hard drive space requirements are significantly LESS than before.
    • No, they're NOT the same

      I forget the name of the poster here in ZDnet, but when Win8.1 Update 1 came out on April 8, he couldn't update from it, because his processor was Xeon (I forget which model), and they changed the processor requirements. Since one of my machines is also a Xeon, I remembered its name.

      So now he, one of the loyalists who actually bought into Win8, is trashed. Same ol' same ol' MSFT, ever hateful of its customers.

      There's no way an enterprise can test all it needs to test, in 30 days. Sheer madness. MSFT will drive business away. Drove me away, when it announced that horror that is Win8, and each day I keep reading these articles, to see if MSFT will wake up and recant. And it just keeps getting worse.

      Read the Amazon reviews by people who deployed 8.1 and its Update, see how overwhelmingly NEGATIVE they all are. You'd think that MSFT wouldn't do the same thing to enterprise, but here we see, it is.

      Seed-pod people run that company.
  • Metro & businesses

    Windows 8 is kind of bad for businesses productivity. The big reason is metro cannot be disabled through group edit, thus games can be downloaded easily causing workers to be distracted.
    Pollo Pazzo
  • Likin' Win 8 on touch screen ultrabook !!!

    I've three points to make:
    1. For first time, I have touch screen Win 8 machine and absolutely love it! Mary Jo, tell Leo and Paul Thurrott for me!! One week ago today, I bought a budget, refurbished Asus Vivobook S500CA, 4GB DDR2 RAM, 500 GB HDD with 20GB SSD and touchscreen for $389 to which I added 8GB for $71 for total 12GB RAM. Each day that goes by, I am liking this machine better than any others, including my Dell Win 8.0, MacBook and even iPad, due to the responsiveness and ease of reading the metro er modern apps. Switching between desktop for work and modern interface has already become second nature. I like the ability to swipe sideways in the modern apps. I just installed Win 365 and love that as well. Apple should be taking this seriously.

    Historical Experience: I've been using Mac's and PC's since 1985. Had I more money, I'd be a Mac fan boy, but work computers and my personal budget led to more time in the Windows ecosystem although iTunes/iPhone/iPad/iCloud,MacBook and thousands of TwiT netcasts on my 2005 iPod have kept me in the Apple ecosystem as well. My wife and kids (3) are all long time Mac users, which BTW has saved me countless hours/days/weeks from maintaining Windows machines.

    2. The above Asus came with Win 8.0. Yes, it wasn't pretty upgrading to 8.1 and 8.1 update but I got it done. I did this unwittingly last Tuesday--yes, the day the 8.1 Update RTM was first available. I had to install 108 Win 8 updates before the the Store would show me the link to 8.1 upgrade/update. Took me hours, and I think the upgrade to 8.1 and 8.1 update happened at the same time. I really couldn't tell. Who thinks up these names? But eventually, I got it done with some help from Google search and others doing the upgrade. My best new friend and tip? !!! Do it. Wish I'd known about that on my desktop machine...speaking of which, my third point.

    3. I've got an ancient (c. 2008 A.D.) Dell XPS 710 with 2GB RAM gaming machine my Mac brother-in-law handed down to me a year and a half ago at Thanksgiving. I upgraded the machine from a gooed up Win XP to Win 8 (no touch screen). I had really wanted to like Win 8, but Microsoft wasn't letting me. When Win 8.1 became available, I tried updating but the upgrade failed, complaining about video drivers or other nonsense. Finally gave up and resigned myself to Win 8.0. I was frustrated until putting Pokki start button on the Desktop, which helped immensely.

    However, after last weeks success and positive experience with updating to 8.1 and 8.1 update (really???), I thought I'd try the Dell again. Had a few Win 8.0 updates to install before I was offered the Win 8.1 update on the Store. Yay, success at last! Whoops, after the 2.7 GB download and attempt to install, I got some error message that my system didn't have enough RAM to do the install! So I bought two 2GB DIMM's to increase my memory. Last weeks success encouraged me not to let this deter me! But wait, my Dell Win 8.0 (32-bit) reported that only 2GB of the 6GB it saw was available. Alzheimer's. How could this be? Through trial and error, I was finally able to make Win 8.0 find only 2.75GB usable RAM. One more college try...but Win 8.1 could still not be installed, so it reverted back to Win 8.0. There IS some hardware requirement that is different in Win 8.1 vs. 8.0 that prevents my update. I'd really like to update to 8.1, so am open to suggestions. This being Minnesota, land of 10,000 Lakes, perhaps a boat anchor is next, especially now that XP has expired and 8.0 is about to follow suit. Lesson: Get a touch screen and LOTS of RAM...and a cup of Caribou coffee.