Another Windows 8.1 spring update screenshot surfaces, full build may leak soon

When screenshots start leaking, typically a build will quickly find its way to the wild web. If the same pattern holds true with Windows 8.1 leaks, it looks like a build of the spring update for Windows 8.1 will leak in the near future.

The screenshot above does not show anything in terms of new features, but what it does tell us is that the spring update build is in the hands of quite a few people which means that a leak is far more likely.

The spring update will likely not bring a significant overhaul to the platform by any means and we will have to wait until April of 2015 to see any major changes to the platform when Windows 9 arrives.

While Microsoft is reportedly not going to be pushing out a build before the final release, whispers have been making their way around the web that this build will leak out in the near future.

Not much else to go on other than the screenshot above but with an expected official release around the time of the BUILD conference, we don’t have to wait too long to see what the update includes.

Source: Centrumwindows.pl

Thanks for the tip Hubert!

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Unless you work for MS the press is stating that they are 2 different things. 2.5 to 3 year release cycles are normal and 2015 is when they want to leave 8 behind.

I'm so confused by all this updates: Windows 8.1 Update 1, Threshold, Windows 9 and what each one of those will bring =\

leoberto said,
I'm so confused by all this updates: Windows 8.1 Update 1, Threshold, Windows 9 and what each one of those will bring =\

Update 1 isn't going to add much in the way of new features.

Threshhold is Microsoft's internal codename for Windows 9 - they're the same thing.

there is only one aspect anybody cares about and if this build doesn't include it then nobody cares: mini-start.

sadly I think the biggest news isn't that ridiculous menu of old which I feel it is the most overrated piece of software on earth even though neither android, nor iOS nor macs have ever validated its usefulness.

The bigger story is the modern apps running as floating windows which should pretty much make modern apps much more accessible to desktop/laptop users and further burry the classic desktop apps into the "legacy" hole. Think about this, there has never been even something as prevalent as FB as a desktop app. But with this update, there will be. You may not feel this is necessary, but regardless, you can deny it is a significant shift for nobody, not Linux, not OSX, etc can boast to have a first party FB app for desktop and must resort to the horrible web client.

This could really usher a desktop renaissance by pouring nearly 150K new apps into the hands of hundreds of millions of desktop users which were long abandoned and forced to run a browser. Anybody familiar with browser apps on phones and tablets knows how inferior they are to native apps. As much "progress" as HTML claims to have made, it remains a fragmented mess of conflicting standards and terrible UX. Bluestacks gaved us a preview of this potential but it is riddled with stability and performance issues not to mention it brings a layer of extra complexity which is removed by native win 8 apps.

Ultimately this can be a boom for windows because apps like FB, twitter, flipboard, whatever, will never make desktop apps but suddenly they find themselves making them without any overhead.

Mini-start is crap imo... Floating modern UI apps is great though. Long overdue.

However - both of these are slated for Windows 9 next year, not in this update.

Amazing, is there a way to install the 8.1 update yet without being logged in with a MS account? Did they release the .iso online at all? Because currently there is still no way to install without being logged in with a MS account, right?

You can install it just fine from the ISO, just do not connect to the internet when you get to the account creation step, if so go back one menu and disconnect from the internet then proceed to install as normal. As far as getting the ISO there are tons of guides out there now that show how to get the ISO without a torrent.

JHBrown said,
Hopefully Windows 9 in 2015 is a worthy upgrade for our beloved Windows 7. Microsoft can still redeem themselves.

let me guess, you want to disable metro and turn it back into windows 7...at which point you can just buy windows 7.

neonspark said,

let me guess, you want to disable metro and turn it back into windows 7...at which point you can just buy windows 7.


Exactly. I can understand being hesitant about the changes made, particularly the Start Screen, but I will never understand these people that are so averse to change!

On one hand they want to complain if there isn't enough change, but on the other they don't want anything changed... LOL

Time for Microsoft to redeem themselves is rapidly running out. Competitors are getting better and better all the time. As any rookie salesperson knows, once you've pi**ed off a customer, good luck trying to get them back.

neonspark said,

let me guess, you want to disable metro and turn it back into windows 7...at which point you can just buy windows 7.


At which point Windows 7 probably won't be sold by then.
So basically, Microsoft may be looking to address this potential issue.

TsarNikky said,
Time for Microsoft to redeem themselves is rapidly running out. Competitors are getting better and better all the time. As any rookie salesperson knows, once you've pi**ed off a customer, good luck trying to get them back.

Oh god, get over yourselves... Hyperbole much? there are millions out there who are happy with Windows 8. Once you quit being so closed-minded you'll find there are plenty of easy ways to work with Windows 8, and it's just like Windows 7 but faster, more efficient, more robust, with a bunch of new features that you might even use one day once you get used to them. In a few years or so.

james.faction said,

Oh god, get over yourselves... Hyperbole much? there are millions out there who are happy with Windows 8. Once you quit being so closed-minded you'll find there are plenty of easy ways to work with Windows 8, and it's just like Windows 7 but faster, more efficient, more robust, with a bunch of new features that you might even use one day once you get used to them. In a few years or so.
James, I'm sure maybe a million or so may like Windows 8. However, let's look at the big picture. Millions also just put up with it and would rather buy a new computer that had Windows 7 pre-installed if given a choice. Here's the kicker. 10's of millions prefer to take Windows 8 out back and shoot it. I know quite few people that have given Windows 8 a chance for over a year. Guess what? It's just not made for most people. It's not about being closed minded. Windows 8 is not a one size fit all OS like Windows 7. If anything, the Pro-Windows 8 fans are being close minded expecting everyone to love the Modern UI catastrophe.

JHBrown said,
James, I'm sure maybe a million or so may like Windows 8. However, let's look at the big picture. Millions also just put up with it and would rather buy a new computer that had Windows 7 pre-installed if given a choice. Here's the kicker. 10's of millions prefer to take Windows 8 out back and shoot it. I know quite few people that have given Windows 8 a chance for over a year. Guess what? It's just not made for most people. It's not about being closed minded. Windows 8 is not a one size fit all OS like Windows 7. If anything, the Pro-Windows 8 fans are being close minded expecting everyone to love the Modern UI catastrophe.

I'm sure the numbers are entirely reversed. There is a very vocal minority jumping on it online all over. The majority don't have time for going online to defend or argue or enthuse about it, they just get along and use it every day.

Like I said, get over yourselves. It's a change to the interface. It doesn't make Windows 8 work any slower, it's better in practically every other respect than 7. The interface requires a different way of interacting at certain times. Quit being a stick-in-the-mud. Open your mind to doing a few things differently.

james.faction said,

I'm sure the numbers are entirely reversed. There is a very vocal minority jumping on it online all over. The majority don't have time for going online to defend or argue or enthuse about it, they just get along and use it every day.

Like I said, get over yourselves. It's a change to the interface. It doesn't make Windows 8 work any slower, it's better in practically every other respect than 7. The interface requires a different way of interacting at certain times. Quit being a stick-in-the-mud. Open your mind to doing a few things differently.

James, you can argue about it until your blue in the face. Consumers have spoken and they do not like Windows 8. However, Microsoft is making strides to change the negative impact that Windows 8 has left on their beloved operating system. I'm not sure if you've been reading the news for the past year and a half, but the people who like Windows 8, are a small minority group. It's true James. Really.

I'm willing to bet a portion of this update deals with an updated activation mechanism. Now that 8.1 has been cracked by an offline tool, there's no way for MS to simply go after a rogue KMS server illegally activating machines. It's forever a cat & mouse game.

ozzy76 said,
I'm willing to bet a portion of this update deals with an updated activation mechanism. Now that 8.1 has been cracked by an offline tool, there's no way for MS to simply go after a rogue KMS server illegally activating machines. It's forever a cat & mouse game.

That could be the case or they could just leave that for Windows 9 for now. If you look at the market share numbers (unless those pirating 8.1 don't go online at all) it doesn't look like they're losing out on much.

Raa said,
Aero Glass? YAY!
I'm glad glass is gone, it was unnecessary frippery and wouldn't run on low-spec hardware anyway.

As for "coloured rectangles" why not? I'm interested in CONTENT, not in stupidly over-detailed graphical elements of the user interface.

Totally agree, it's the one thing I don't like about Windows 8 - the Windows 7 desktop icons (in some cases unchanged from Vista, or even XP). It wouldn't be that hard to come up with a completely modern icon set, really.

Raa said,
If they add the option to enable or disable the classic start menu, many would upgrade.

While I get what you're saying I'm also one of those who doesn't expect the same old start menu from Windows 7 to reappear in Windows 9.

Raa said,
If they add the option to enable or disable the classic start menu, many would upgrade.

It's so silly how many people are still stuck on the Start Menu... Though in all reality, it's mostly the same people posting over and over so it appears more people are hung up on it...

Most people just don't care, and aren't so frozen by change to be unable to adapt to the Start Screen... As someone that really wasn't sure early on, but has now been using Windows 8 for quite some time, the Start Screen is better, and more efficient. But, I was willing to give it a chance...

Raa said,
If they add the option to enable or disable the classic start menu, many would upgrade.

not they would not. people just like to complain about one thing or another. besides the classic start menu is readily available in windows 7 which is essentially what you're asking. windows 8 and forwards is post-pc therefore if you're not ready to move forward, stay with windows 7.

George P said,

While I get what you're saying I'm also one of those who doesn't expect the same old start menu from Windows 7 to reappear in Windows 9.


I'm not expecting an exact copy of the old start menu in Windows 9, but a menu of some form would certainly be handy for sure.

Raa said,

I'm not expecting an exact copy of the old start menu in Windows 9, but a menu of some form would certainly be handy for sure.

Windows 8 already has a start menu, quit being one of the zombie hordes of closed-minded people whining incessantly about it online. Windows 8 start menu is fine, that it's different is not a show-stopper unless you are incredibly closed-minded. In which case I suggest you turn off your computer, unplug it, and burn it.

james.faction said,

quit being one of the zombie hordes of closed-minded people.

Yes, when you don't have a good argument, use an insult...

Raa said,

Yes, when you don't have a good argument, use an insult...

When you don't have a good reply to a good argument, ignore the argument and only pay attention to the insult.

It boggles the mind why Windows Phone apps still do not run natively on Windows RT devices or Windows 8 PCs yet. They made this big deal about Windows Phone running on the NT kernel when they made the big switch in 2012. iPad runs all iOS apps, Android tablets run all Android apps and it gives those devices the perception of an even bigger app store advantage than they should have. Not to mention how much more money Windows Phone developers would make if their apps could run on more Windows machines. Honestly if they made Windows Phone apps run only on RT devices it would even give some people pause about choosing an Atom tablet over an ARM, especially at the 8" size.

Things that are taking longer than acceptable for MS to solve: Unifying the app store, implementing voice search/control in Windows, fixing Xbox Music, figuring out the next CEO.

How does it boggle you? They are separate operating systems even though they now run on the same core. The fact they run on the same core will make the unification easier and it'll happen soon... most likely this year.

Avatar Roku said,
It boggles the mind why Windows Phone apps still do not run natively on Windows RT devices or Windows 8 PCs yet. They made this big deal about Windows Phone running on the NT kernel when they made the big switch in 2012. iPad runs all iOS apps, Android tablets run all Android apps and it gives those devices the perception of an even bigger app store advantage than they should have. Not to mention how much more money Windows Phone developers would make if their apps could run on more Windows machines. Honestly if they made Windows Phone apps run only on RT devices it would even give some people pause about choosing an Atom tablet over an ARM, especially at the 8" size.

Things that are taking longer than acceptable for MS to solve: Unifying the app store, implementing voice search/control in Windows, fixing Xbox Music, figuring out the next CEO.


this is planned, the API's need to be similar to a large degree to allow this to work, and this is what is being changed on both phone and windows, the API's are going through changes. Also the store needs to be merged which has already stared to happen (first steps anyway).

once done apps should be able to simply have a ui made for phone, one for windows and one for xbox one (if needed). The beauty is the major work in an app is the code at the backend, the ui differences should be minimal BUT different enough that the apps feel right on both phone and large screens (i personally do not want native wp apps running on desktop/laptop as they would be ugly as hell).

I don't see the problem. running android and iOS apps on tablets makes for a horrible experience. how would WP be any different?

Avatar Roku said,
It boggles the mind why Windows Phone apps still do not run natively on Windows RT devices or Windows 8 PCs yet.

I'm fairly certain it's due in some small part to the heritage of each runtime.

WP8 has its roots in Silverlight.

W8 Windows Runtime is entirely new, built upon win32.

It's not surprising that it will take time to unify.

virtorio said,
The "Start Menu" rumours are for Windows 9.

Oh, so this is like GDR1 for Windows 8.1 when WP8.1 is released, with under the hood improvements.

ians18 said,

Oh, so this is like GDR1 for Windows 8.1 when WP8.1 is released, with under the hood improvements.

Yes, basically.

It will be released in April, why would anyone want to bother with installing it? Its like installing Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, there is nothing visually new, its just a maintenance update. Frankly, even if a build of Threshold leaked in May I wouldn't bother with it.

My days on the upgrade treadmill are over.

They need to bring the Start Menu back ASAP. Not because I really need it, but because XP is about to expire and Microsoft needs to give those companies that will be leaving XP a reason to move to Windows 8 and not 7.

Raa said,
But Microsoft still sells Windows 7, it's a win-win for them.
It is an issue if users are updating to the previous operating system. That means Microsoft will have to support it for longer.

Andre S. said,
That means Microsoft will have to support it for longer.

TBH, I don't see the problem with this.

Currently.

Raa said,

TBH, I don't see the problem with this.

Currently.

It's a loss for Microsoft - supporting an old OS doesn't make them any money.

Modern UI is Microsoft's investment in Tablet. You know those things that people buy these days instead of laptops.

And I have to say it is very good interface - digging it.

_Alexander said,
Modern UI is Microsoft's investment in Tablet. You know those things that people buy these days instead of laptops.

And I have to say it is very good interface - digging it.


Actually it is their investment in the market and the cut of each sale going through it.

Andre S. said,
It's a loss for Microsoft - supporting an old OS doesn't make them any money.

You are paying for support when you purchase Microsoft software - it's all part of the cost. For that money you are entitled to, and expect several years of support, updates & fixes.

Andre S. said,
That means Microsoft will have to support it for longer.

Yeah? It's supported until 2020. Not sure what point you're trying to make.

Andre S. said,
It's a loss for Microsoft - supporting an old OS doesn't make them any money.

actually it makes them MORE money. the RD for windows 7 was long paid for so at this point it is all profit. the license isn't free so they actually profit more from it than with windows 8 which continues development to this day.

in fact, there is zero reason for the start menu to come back as windows 7 is sufficiently good for the enterprise and windows 8 and forwards is a post-pc OS with the desktop only as a "legacy" environment.

neonspark said,
actually it makes them MORE money.

I was going to say the same thing.

Not just to your point, but the number of custom shims that will need to be developed for the XP->7 migration is all menial work that will generate lots of support incident dollars as well. By the time these organizations jump off 7 to 9 or 10 or 11, then they'll be all lined up to do it again.

neonspark said,

actually it makes them MORE money. the RD for windows 7 was long paid for so at this point it is all profit. the license isn't free so they actually profit more from it than with windows 8 which continues development to this day.

R&D on new versions of Windows costs the same regardless of sales numbers, so selling 7 doesn't result in any more profit than selling 8. Actually many licenses of 7 have to be provided for free as downgrade options while customers aren't satisfied with 8, similarly to how XP had to be provided in the early Vista days.

Microsoft isn't making more money by selling 7 than 8. However, by selling 7 now instead of 8, they have to commit more resources into supporting an older operating system. The more people use a product, the more bugs are found and the more feature requests are made. This costs money, and fixing bugs in an old version of a product is more expensive than in a newer version (less developers know the codebase well, context is lost to time). It's also possible that Microsoft will have to extend Windows 7 support beyond what they are currently planning, exactly like it happened for Windows XP.

cybersaurusrex said,
They need to bring the Start Menu back ASAP. Not because I really need it, but because XP is about to expire and Microsoft needs to give those companies that will be leaving XP a reason to move to Windows 8 and not 7.

Waaaaaa. Usual ignorant comments from grumpy old people who hate change.

Windows 8 has a start menu. It's full-screen and laid out differently, which is disorienting for people who have been using a computer for years. Not really a problem if you are open-minded and adaptable though. Websites are laid out differently all the time.

From what I see in my organisation, people don't really use the Win7 start menu anyway. they pin stuff to their taskbar or desktop and use the start menu very little.

james.faction said,

Waaaaaa. Usual ignorant comments from grumpy old people who hate change.

Windows 8 has a start menu. It's full-screen and laid out differently, which is disorienting for people who have been using a computer for years. Not really a problem if you are open-minded and adaptable though. Websites are laid out differently all the time.

From what I see in my organisation, people don't really use the Win7 start menu anyway. they pin stuff to their taskbar or desktop and use the start menu very little.


Bingo. Windows 7 made the start menu less useful. All the apps I use are on the taskbar already.

Andre S. said,
R&D on new versions of Windows costs the same regardless of sales numbers, so selling 7 doesn't result in any more profit than selling 8. Actually many licenses of 7 have to be provided for free as downgrade options while customers aren't satisfied with 8, similarly to how XP had to be provided in the early Vista days.

Microsoft isn't making more money by selling 7 than 8. However, by selling 7 now instead of 8, they have to commit more resources into supporting an older operating system. The more people use a product, the more bugs are found and the more feature requests are made. This costs money, and fixing bugs in an old version of a product is more expensive than in a newer version (less developers know the codebase well, context is lost to time). It's also possible that Microsoft will have to extend Windows 7 support beyond what they are currently planning, exactly like it happened for Windows XP.

I don't foresee them extending support at all. By 2020, Windows 7 will be several revisions behind.

Lord Method Man said,
I wish we knew more about it.

Probably find out all we need to know at BUILD in April and then actually get to install it. All I'm expecting are API changes so that Windows and WP can both run each others apps without issue from one Store later on.

Lord Method Man said,
I wish we knew more about it.

it is the best version of windows ever, they improved this and improved that, and removed this and removed that

macoman said,
looks great, can't wait to update my machine

dont understand what looks great.. its just my computer-->properties screen which is same as now. the only thing great is the wallpaper.. if thats what u meant

Xerax said,
How on earth did you not detect the sarcasm?

Because there was no sarcasm to detect? seemed like a genuine comment to me

macoman said,
looks great, can't wait to update my machine

Yes, the screenshot is designed for people at your intellectual level: "oh my god, new number in the version box, must have, oh yeh!"

Chicane-UK said,
Agreed. Not sarcasm.

Really? You can't detect someone saying "looks great" on a picture that looks identical to windows 8.1 is sarcasm? Jesus Christ.

Xerax said,

Really? You can't detect someone saying "looks great" on a picture that looks identical to windows 8.1 is sarcasm? Jesus Christ.

Oi. Given the amount of blind faith and enthusiasm for Microsoft on this forum, I've seen countless similar comments over the years for equally meaningless updates to products. Maybe my sarcasm detector has been detuned on this place over the years.