Microsoft plans to launch a significant update to Windows 8.1 in April, and the company has already reportedly released the update to manufacturers so they can load up computers that will hit the streets next month.

Don’t want to wait that long? Microsoft seems to have prematurely made the software available through its Windows Update service. While the download links have been removed from Microsoft’s servers, they were up long enough for plenty of people to grab the software… and if you look hard enough it shouldn’t be hard to find a site which still has working links.

Windows 8 logo

Or you can just wait until April and not worry about installing software from an untrusted source.

Either way, Windows 8.1 Update 1 will likely be a free update for existing Windows 8.1 users. Many of the changes seem to be designed to make the operating system a bit easier to use for folks using traditional laptop or desktop computers.

While Windows 8 introduced a new touch-friendly user interface and Start Screen, plenty of folks still by Windows computers to use desktop mode. The update makes it easier to run Windows Store apps on a desktop thanks to the ability to see the taskbar from the Start Screen and the ability to see Windows Store apps to your desktop taskbar.

There are also now shutdown and restart icons on the Start Screen, which means you don’t need to use a gesture command or move your mouse to the corner of the screen to bring up the power menu.

Microsoft has also promised to add support for low-cost, low-power hardware. We could see Windows 8.1 tablets with as little as 16GB of storage and 1GB of RAM.

via The Verge

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8 replies on “Windows 8.1 Update 1 released a little early (and then retracted)”

  1. Does this add up/down arrow keys to the main software keyboard? Can you now dock the desktop only osk.exe software keyboard while in landscape mode?

  2. The update installed but my system failed to reboot into windows correctly. Had to fall back to recovery and unlock Bitlocker.

    1. I guess that’s why it wasn’t supposed to be released yet. Thanks for reporting. I didn’t want to be a guinea pig.

      1. [Disclaimer]Microsoft compliment coming up: Even though the update didn’t work (may have been me) Windows 8.1 recovered gracefully after a reboot and unlocking bitlocker. I was impressed. Being an Android user I am used to flashing something and it going horribly horribly wrong! 🙂

    1. ..and that was the last we heard of him. The room was empty, just a pair of shoes, without the shoelace.

      1. On the up side, I am reporting from the non-8.1 device. Also, my work data connection is really slow today. Sheesh.

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