Prematurely released Feature Pack update for Windows 8.1 may not be RTM after all

The Start screen now has a mix of modern and traditional mouse menus.

When Microsoft mistakenly made it relatively easy for anyone to update to the Spring Update for Windows 8.1 (also known as the Feature Pack for Windows) last Friday, at least one site is claiming that this was merely a way to test if the update mechanism worked properly, most likely because of it's multi-stage update requirement, rather than one huge one like we would expect to see with a Service Pack.

Chinese website PCBeta is claiming that build 17031 may just have been one build that was used to test the update method; and as we already know, Microsoft pulled the files shortly after the news broke on how to edit the registry to "officially" update through Windows Update.

Microsoft is expected to announce the update at the Build developer conference which takes place in early April, possibly giving the company more than a month to finalize a newer build for distribution. Earlier reports suggested that Microsoft had already signed off to RTM and delivered the update to OEMs, so while this all may be possible, it's anyones guess really and we'll just have to see when it is announced on the day.

The latest leaked files, which are now only available through torrent or file sharing websites, could be installed straight over the previous leak so it's likely that if a newer update is released, the same will be possible.

Modern apps can be pinned, switched and controlled all from the taskbar with the update.

The Spring Update adds features for desktop and mouse users, such as Modern app taskbar switching, a title bar in app that allows minimizing and closing, as well as desktop like context menus among others which can be seen below.

  • Pinning metro apps to desktop taskbar.
  • Classic taskbar in ModernApp.
  • Link to classic Control Panel in PC Settings.
  • Shutdown button on the Start screen.
  • Search button on the Start screen.
  • Context Menu appears when you right-click on the ModernApp (Tiles).
  • Title on the ModernApp and close button.
  • Sorted App list in Apps screen (all programs) by default.
  • Update Internet Explorer to 11.0.7 (more details on that here).
  • "Enterprise Mode" in Internet Explorer 11.

Since Microsoft has yet to confirm anything about this update, including the official name for it we'll probably have to wait until the Build conference to know for sure either way. 

Source: PCBeta (Chinese) | Cheers for the tip FaiKee!

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And/or have an image backup like I do. Even so I didn't do the upgrade. I chose to wait. I also don't have any experience with VM but am going to look into it soon.

I upgraded with the leaked files, but I'm not panicked. I've reinstalled Windows from scratch and restored all my app settings so many times now, on so many different versions of Windows, I should have a certification for it. Still, if it's not final and I can update over it I'd prefer to do that than start over again. Would really like my next clean install to be related to my next hardware upgrade.

I would not doubt Wzor tbh he has been correct about nearly everything and released most builds himself. His sources are solid.

It's possible i guess they had a change of heart last minute after signing it off as final RTM due to some unexpected bug but i highly doubt that.

Just goes so show you can't trust installing something early from an unofficial source though.

Windows 9?

Perhaps this is the early patch to win 8.1 meant internally to turn it to Windows 9. Were kernel patches include

There was never any indication in any of the leaked builds that IE12 would be present. At most we saw 11.0.7 I believe it was, so perhaps 11.1 by RTM (or maybe 11.0.7 itself) but certainly not 12.

Another indication of the conflicts going on internally at Microsoft in their frenzy to make Windows-8x even moderately successful. Why not admit its faults and limitations, and fix the mess with Windows-9?

Another nonsensical comment. Some stupid rumor comes out that a leaked build wasn't RTM and that according to you is indicative of conflicts inside the company? Riiiiiight...

Romero said,
Another nonsensical comment. Some stupid rumor comes out that a leaked build wasn't RTM and that according to you is indicative of conflicts inside the company? Riiiiiight...

Microsoft have been full of internal conflicts since the day windows 8 was released and those internal conflicts will not be ending any time soon.

Order_66 said,
Microsoft have been full of internal conflicts since the day windows 8 was released and those internal conflicts will not be ending any time soon.
I'd say like any other company they've been having internal conflicts since they day they were founded, but connecting that to this rumor is nothing more than pure drivel.

Romero said,
I'd say like any other company they've been having internal conflicts since they day they were founded, but connecting that to this rumor is nothing more than pure drivel.

Oh yes, losing a lead designer, CEO and many others who were involved directly after a company releases a flagship product, not to mention the many changes brought to the latest flagship product due to customer backlash and the products colossal failure at the retail level.

You're right, this has all been happening since the day they were founded <rolls eyes>

Order_66 said,
You're right, this has all been happening since the day they were founded <rolls eyes>
I said internal conflicts have been happening no doubt since day 1, and that is probably 99.9% true given human nature. Do not try and twist my words. As for what the atmosphere is now inside, unless you are an MS insider you know bupkiss and so do I. Everything else is pure conjecture regarding conflicts, what kind, how serious, whether they're anything out of the ordinary and so on.

Colossal failure? I don't see 200mn and counting as one but of course you will say that. Back to my original point. Nothing about this particular rumor about the leaked build not being the RTM points to any internal conflicts. There's no correlation between the two whatsoever. If you insist otherwise provide some proof.

TsarNikky said,
Another indication of the conflicts going on internally at Microsoft in their frenzy to make Windows-8x even moderately successful. Why not admit its faults and limitations, and fix the mess with Windows-9?

Go to bed. You're never on point about anything you say. Your parents should restrict your computer access.

Romero said,

Colossal failure? I don't see 200mn and counting as one

Once a fanboy runs to the 200 million = success claims he/she automatically loses any and all perceived credibility in all subjects regarding microsoft.
The 200 million= success fanboy claim has been heavily refuted so badly it's barely even worth mentioning at all, it's usually only thrown out there anymore when someone is losing an argument.

Well we all know what you are a fanboy of so if you think you retain any shred of credibility here amongst regulars you can keep dreaming. Oh and as expected I see that you conveniently sidestepped the point of this discussion, which was to provide proof of how this rumor indicated anything larger about the goings-on within the company. We all know who lost the argument. Try harder next time.

It was a leaked build and not official one. So, Microsoft can make whatever changes they want.
Don't need to make fuss about it.
Also the people who installed the update should know the risk that they might have to re-install the OS for more stability.

Steven P. said,
Yes, the text is now white.

I show that it hasn't changed, and that the text is still a very dark grey, against a black titlebar, when color settings are set to: Color intensity: Max, Saturation: Max, Brightness: Min.

Steven, are you sure you're not running a custom theme with UX Patcher?

Steven P. said,
No theme patcher here, this is what it looks like for me, unless you mean a specific modern app? http://cl.ly/image/2c2k1U0R1v2R

Edit: Try resetting windows colors and theme to the default to test?

I think we're not talking about the same thing. I thought the original poster was talking about the Titlebar of Desktop applications. The problem Windows 8 introduced was that, when the user selects a black theme color (Color intensity: Max, Saturation: Max, Brightness: Min)... then the titlebars of Desktop applications have virtually unreadable text, because it's super-dark-grey on black. And that issue has not been fixed in Windows 8.1 Update 1.

PUC_Snakeman said,

I think we're not talking about the same thing. I thought the original poster was talking about the Titlebar of Desktop applications. The problem Windows 8 introduced was that, when the user selects a black theme color (Color intensity: Max, Saturation: Max, Brightness: Min)... then the titlebars of Desktop applications have virtually unreadable text, because it's super-dark-grey on black. And that issue has not been fixed in Windows 8.1 Update 1.

Yes. That's what I was on about. Still broke? Ugh.

One of the six updates that were released as part of the "leaked" build was released on Windows Update yesterday. (I checked the MSU files, they are identical.)

Anyway, continuing to run the leak until I have firm reason to believe it's not the final thing.

I couldn't provide a "firm reason" but there's a indication(hint): If you slipstream the MSU's to win8.1 by DISM, it won't imagecleanup or resetbase, the resulting X64 wim is 4.1GB and ISO is over 4.8GB(more than a DVD 4.7GB capacity) - this wouldn't happen with a official release.

Update: just find out it's not relevant, actually a DISM glitch: If you enable feature .Net3.5, then there will be a pending.xml, and if you run imagecleanup/resetbase, DISM will return a "pending operation" error.

I didn't install it, but for those who did install it I think they will have no problem. I didn't install it because of work and I don't have time for fun stuff. Was it summertime and it would've been a totally different story.

I will only believe when Microsoft says so and releases update with higher build number. This 17031 is staying installed regardless as I have zero issues with it.

I'm going to go with WZOR on this one, it was released as final by him, it has documentation with it, it's final. He's wrong sometimes, but I can't EVER remember when his release of RTM turned out not to be RTM. He is obviously connected to an OEM partner or something on those lines, so whoever he works for has direct communication with MS and he knows when it is RTM.

Remember when WZOR said build 8888 has been signed off? (LOL)
Anyway, back to topic, what I heard is 17031 is RTM, but not the final official release that will hit MSDN, the PCBeta guy wbpluto is MS China guy, I guess it's a matter of translation, or he might have not put his words properly.

It could very well be a similar process as the Windows 8.1 RTM. The RTM build that was leaked was not the same as what went live on GA. GA included a series of updates that modified bugs discovered since "RTM." Seems as though we may need to adjust our expectations of RTM code. Things do not appear to be so set in stone, as they once were.

What I really don't understand is this: If it were to be a non-finished version, then we would have the time bomb, meaning it would be unusable in a couple of months, which it isn't the case.

I remember this happening back in 2009 with Windows 7 when the string was .16834, and the true RTM was .16835. The difference was that the 16834 did have the time bomb and it would expire soon a couple of months after the leak.

In my opinion this is not the final RTM build. I noticed that when you are on the desktop and you will click to Start buton it goes to the start screen but the taksbar still is there until you move the cursor to another place. Before in 8.1 it was only the start buton.

Another thing is that when you place cursor to left top corner there is no animation for recent modern apps it just appear.

That may be because of the recent changes of he update.

HauTam3ki said,

Another thing is that when you place cursor to left top corner there is no animation for recent modern apps it just appear.

It happens for me.

Wzor's source is usually solid. A 'Chinese web site"? Not so much. Of course there are already post-RTM builds happening, but what gets released is what gets signed off. I'm not saying it's not possible, I'm saying it's highly unlikely to be any other way.

Personally I already updated my WIMs, but I'm in no rush to clean reinstall so I'll probably wait for it to hit MSDN anyway.

WZor isn't always right, he has announced a few things that never happened and has been wrong about official release dates as well.. we've used PCBeta a few times in the past and they have proven to be quite a solid source.

Most of the update 1 screenshots came from there too (which were real and not faked).

I hear what you're saying though, there's no way to confirm this (yet), and we're just passing the information along

FYI my win8.1 base ver 9600.16384 got KB2919442 thru WU, same hash as WZOR leak, it's a service stack and could not be uninstalled.

thats an example..i mean, randomly, if i open a folder with a picture. that freeze bug may happen sometime.

Edit: im using shark codec 4.2.8 or u could suggest any other codec? thx in advanced

dota17 said,
hmm, i read somewhere that disabling it make performance much better.

Once indexing is completed the service don't affect performances. I would try to enable it.

Cosmocronos said,

Once indexing is completed the service don't affect performances. I would try to enable it.

Oh yeah, forgot to point that out.. initially it'll be a little sluggish but not after that

getting a weird bug on 17031, desktop freeze when opening folder for the first time.
Ex: opening a video folder, theres a loading for the folder to show the thumbnail, when i tried to right click to refresh desktop it freeze, cant right click any folder on the desktop either, basically the whole desktop just freeze when the video folder open earlier is loading.

I would laugh so hard if on the day Spring Update is made available to the public, persons running the leak on their production machine receive an error message saying, can't update, you are running a previous version, please 'Reset' your computer.

It has always been possible to update service packs over test builds (although not recommended) this would indeed suck though if it's the case lol.

It's possible those patches were already included in the Spring Update, we can't know until it officially releases and Windows Update updates to reflect it.

Zlip792 said,
I agree that's why I don't panic and only mentioned that it could be possible.

I just ran the patch tuesday updates (7 important updates) and they all installed.. so maybe there's another issue with your machine?

Steven P. said,
Search online for Reset Windows Update Cache, and it should repopulate what you need and don't need.

Thanks for suggestion.. Let me try.. Thanks..

I do not think most of us who installed this update really care if it forces a build or not. I am betting most either use a VM or like me, can rebuild me system in 8 minutes.

Heck the longest thing to rebuild is the Surface Pro, though it was sit and rebuild while I am killing Titan's............................

Mr. Dee said,
I would laugh so hard if on the day Spring Update is made available to the public, persons running the leak on their production machine receive an error message saying, can't update, you are running a previous version, please 'Reset' your computer.

Why I do everything on a test system. Personal or work.

Mr. Dee said,
I would laugh so hard if on the day Spring Update is made available to the public, persons running the leak on their production machine receive an error message saying, can't update, you are running a previous version, please 'Reset' your computer.


You do realise that you can uninstall it?

Mr. Dee said,
I would laugh so hard if on the day Spring Update is made available to the public, persons running the leak on their production machine receive an error message saying, can't update, you are running a previous version, please 'Reset' your computer.


You won't get to, that chinese guy is full of crap, 17031 is RTM.

Mr. Dee said,
I would laugh so hard if on the day Spring Update is made available to the public, persons running the leak on their production machine receive an error message saying, can't update, you are running a previous version, please 'Reset' your computer.


Haha

"You have been found to lack a license to use a development version of Windows software. Your Windows key has been revoked and your Windows install is now no longer genuine. Please visit any Microsoft store to purchase Windows licenses."

Mr. Dee said,
I would laugh so hard if on the day Spring Update is made available to the public, persons running the leak on their production machine receive an error message saying, can't update, you are running a previous version, please 'Reset' your computer.

I'm not sure how that would be funny.