'Spring Update' for Windows 8.1 announced

Microsoft has finally acknowledged 'Update 1' and has announced the update to Windows 8.1 at the Mobile World Conference this morning to be delivered as a 'Spring Update'.

The Spring Update focuses mainly on mouse and keyboard use with Modern apps.

The update - which is referred to internally as 'Update 1' - adds a title bar to Modern apps, and the ability to pin them to the taskbar as well as currently running Modern apps being present on the taskbar with jumplist and in some cases media control support.

Joe Belfiore, who is now responsible for phones, tablets, and PCs at the software maker, revealed the update is coming "this spring" and adds improved features for mouse and keyboard users when using Modern apps. The update will be delivered through Windows Update rather than the Windows Store, which was the method used to update Windows 8 to 8.1.

Belfiore also admitted that Microsoft listened to complaints, saying "Some of those touch affordances weren’t really tuned as well as we could do for those mouse and keyboard users," and further added; "We found people weren’t aware of where they should look in the UI. Those are the things we've really started to improve for this update coming this spring." 

Those improvements also include a Power and Search icon on the top right of the Start screen and context menus on tiles, which includes the removal of the bottom "Metro bar" when the mouse is right-clicked.

Hardware requirements for Windows 8.1 have also been lowered in the update to make way for cheaper devices, Windows 8.1 will be able to be installed on devices with just 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage; coupled with the recent news on slashing pricing for OEMs by 70% will go a long way to make this possible as Microsoft positions itself to better accommodate devices in the low-end market.

Coming soon to a store near you, Windows 8.1 tablets priced under $250? Yes please!

Just three days ago, build 17025 leaked to the internet in x86 and x64 flavours giving those who just can't wait a sneak peek at what to expect. For a full rundown of the changes that will be present in the update, click here.

An actual release date for the Spring Update has not been announced, but it's widely expected to happen sometime in April. You can read Belfiore's full announcement here.

Source: Microsoft | Image via WZor

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