Microsoft announced in late August that the RTM build of Windows 8.1 had been completed, but the company added that it would continue to work on the OS between then and the planned Windows 8.1 launch date of October 18th. Soon after that announcement, leaked builds of the RTM version hit the Internet and Microsoft finally decided to allow TechNet and MSDN subscribers access to the RTM versions, following a wave of protests from the developer community.
With the launch of Windows 8.1 now less than a week away, it seems that Microsoft is readying at least one update to the RTM build for general availability (GA) of the heavily revised OS. WinSuperSite reports that this update is known as 'Windows 8.1 GA Rollup A', but does not point to any documentation to substantiate the claims further. In terms of the patch's download size, the report claims it is not all that big; it is supposed to be just 200 MB for the x64 version and 100 MB each for the x32 and Windows RT versions.
The update is said to consist almost entirely of bug fixes and under-the-hood improvements, with one notable exception. After downloading and installing the GA Rollup A update, the article states that Internet Explorer 11 gains an app bar preview, which is a tiny black bar at the bottom of the browser that also feature three little dots, rather like on Windows Phone. It is also similar to the app bars that will feature in many of the pre-installed Windows 8.1 apps, including the new Mail app.
It is not entirely clear when GA Rollup A will be delivered to users, although it is claimed that Microsoft completed work on it around a month after the RTM build was finalized. Equally unclear is the question of whether or not a 'Rollup B' update is in development.
We contacted Microsoft to see if this report is correct but a company spokesperson told Neowin it had "nothing to share" about any patches for the RTM build of Windows 8.1.
Source: WinSuperSite | Image via Microsoft