Windows 8.1 Update 1 could be officially called "Windows Feature Pack"

Earlier this week, Microsoft reportedly completed work on the RTM version of Windows 8.1 Update 1, also known as the "Spring Update". While the company has yet to confirm this news, a new tidbit of information seems to have been revealed at the Chinese language site ITHome.

In an article which they claim to have information about the installation methods that will be used for the update, the site has also posted a screenshot which shows that Update 1-Spring Update may officially be labeled as the Windows Feature Pack. If true, it would make sense since the update does add quite a few new features to Windows 8.1, especially for keyboard and mouse users; we have contacted Microsoft to see if they wish to comment on this rumor.

The article also states that when the update is released, Internet Explorer 11 will also get a version number bump to 11.0.7. As we have reported before, IE11 will get an "enterprise compatibility mode" that will allow the browser to load up websites that are designed to work best on the older IE8 version.

Microsoft is expected to release the Windows 8.1 update to the general public on April 8th.

Source: ITHome | Image via ITHome

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At least they didn't call it option pack like with NT4 (sp4+option pack).

"I think that a company like MS should have their naming conventions worked out by now."
---
Yeah I know right... WTF was wrong with the long standing "Service Pack" term?


knighthawk said,
At least they didn't call it option pack like with NT4 (sp4+option pack).

"I think that a company like MS should have their naming conventions worked out by now."
---
Yeah I know right... WTF was wrong with the long standing "Service Pack" term?


I agree. Service Pack 1 makes sense and is familiar to Windows users. Why introduce more confusion into with an entirely new naming system?

A Feature Pack sounds like an optional instal.
I think that a company like MS should have their naming conventions worked out by now.

Explain to me if you got what I meant the first time, why couldnt you just answer my question from the start.

8.1 was minor update as well. And new OS would be defined as Win9. Anything else is an update as long as it is proceeded by a 8 version number.

No official name for the next update so I called it 8.2. In case someone else doesnt get it or is just being difficult.

No, 8.1 is a new OS. When upgrading from Win 8 it does a full OS upgrade the same as if you were updating to Win 8 from Win 7. The Spring Update is an update to an existing OS, NOT a new OS.

Under the hood, it is a minor update. MS choose to release it as a full install instead of an update.

But thanks for totally derailing my question. I will find out this info for myself.

techbeck said,
Under the hood, it is a minor update. MS choose to release it as a full install instead of an update.

In that case you could say Windows 7 was a minor update to Vista.

The name really doesn't matter, only for MS it does. After Ultimate Extras that delivered nothing, MS should stay away from product names that suggest features or extras that don't deliver. If Update 1 doesn't deliver new features, calling it a feature pack will be a disaster. Missing functionality, Fixed UI/UX is NOT A FEATURE, calling such things a feature is disastrous.

I don't like the name "Feature Pack". It sounds a bit more like an add-on or something, something to be installed on top of it, rather than an update, which it really rather is... (Although then there's the argument of the meaning of "Service Pack"...)

I like the "Spring Update" name... "Update 1" would be acceptable too, I guess...

JaykeBird said,
I don't like the name "Feature Pack". It sounds a bit more like an add-on or something, something to be installed on top of it, rather than an update, which it really rather is...

it sounds like something Microsoft would come up with. Reminds me of "Microsoft Plus! SuperPack for Windows XP"

d'oh...just saw the comment below

or Legacy Compatibility update Pack XD but really Feature pack is a good name hopefully it's in the recommended updates not the optional because it adds some nice little under the hood changes

Why not just leave it at Windows 8.1?
It's an update pushed through WU
It's still just Windows 8.1 with the latest updates installed

No, just no. Call it "update 1", "GDR 1" or even "8.1.1" or whatever, but "Feature Pack" makes it sound trivial or unnecessary.

It makes it sound like it has things that it actually doesn't have.

It's an update that brings fixes, not new features per se.

AmazingRando said,
What's wrong with "Spring Update"?

Nothing at all. So obviously Microsoft couldn't just let it be: "needs to be on brand", "needs to communicate the richness of the product" ... or something...

Feature Pack doesn't have the "you need this now if you're a keyboard and mouse user" written on it in any way shape or form.

Should have been called Keyboard and Mouse Feature Pack.

deadonthefloor said,
Feature Pack doesn't have the "you need this now if you're a keyboard and mouse user" written on it in any way shape or form.

Should have been called Keyboard and Mouse Feature Pack.

Perhaps that's because keyboard and mouse do not *need* it.

Ian William said,
Perhaps that's because keyboard and mouse do not *need* it.

Main UI updates are focused to keyboard and mouse users, so I respectfully disagree.

deadonthefloor said,

Main UI updates are focused to keyboard and mouse users, so I respectfully disagree.

That may well be, but are the UI updates necessary?

nec·es·sar·y
adjective
"required to be done, achieved, or present; needed; essential."

I still say the "name" of the update isn't important since it's going out through WU and not the Store. Few people will see it, they'll just reboot, it'll install, and they'll go on without knowing the details or it's name.

Of course after the install it'd be smart for MS to bring up some new How To guide to show off the new things they've added so people actually know about them.

The feature is the dumbing down of the simplistic interface for a few people with mouse and a keyboard who can't seem to be able to navigate around 8.1.

hagjohn said,
The feature is the dumbing down of the simplistic interface for a few people with mouse and a keyboard who can't seem to be able to navigate around 8.1.

Working in IS, the amount of complaints far out weights the compliments of 8/8.1... Get over it, you lost. Looking forward to when the start menu is finally put back on, and its going to happen.

Edited by Eric, Mar 6 2014, 4:49pm :

Just because the brain dead drooling public can't be bothered to learn something new, or find the answer on how to navigate on twitter or their friends facebook wall, they decide to whine and phone up support rather than look for the easy 3 second answer themselves.

This says more about people and how damn lazy and dumb they are rather than issues with 8/8.1.

If people don't want to learn to do something Microsoft's way, they don't have to buy it. It's not lazy or anything else, it's MS is learning it can't force something "unnecessary" except for their benefit on users. That's a good thing for the market.

Having said that, though we're not doing a major rollout, we actually get positive feedback, particularly on tablets. There are issues with Enterprise particularly upgrading 8 to 8.1. Most of the resistance is IT, and with good reason. When MS exposes all of the Modern UI (all that is reasonable to GPO control/configuration) and provides a way to deal with the requirement for Microsoft accounts for the store and core apps, then you will see this resistance go away.

Skin said,
Just because the brain dead drooling public can't be bothered to learn something new, or find the answer on how to navigate on twitter or their friends facebook wall, they decide to whine and phone up support rather than look for the easy 3 second answer themselves.

This says more about people and how damn lazy and dumb they are rather than issues with 8/8.1.

shockz said,
Working in IS, the amount of complaints far out weights the compliments of 8/8.1... Get over it, you lost. Looking forward to when the start menu is finally put back on, and its going to happen.

And it isn't just about the fact that it was changed but the change didn't come with any material benefits. I mean, if they changed something but the end result was a massive improvement in, I don't know, stability and security then at least it would be an easier sale than trying to hype up 'touch screens' as if every office apparently is like the CSI television set with touch screens.

Edited by Eric, Mar 6 2014, 4:19pm :

shockz said,

Working in IS, the amount of complaints far out weights the compliments of 8/8.1... Get over it, you lost. Looking forward to when the start menu is finally put back on, and its going to happen.

Competent instruction = zero complaints.

If the attitude you exhibit here is any reflection of what you provide at work, I feel sorry for you and the people getting guidance from you. I can imagine it is probably a mess.


In my world, even when training several thousand users in less than 20 minutes, 99.99% of the users couldn't be 'forced' to use the older Start Menu - and the majority of users are desktop and non-touch notebook users.

Imagine how much you could help people if you properly understood the benefits. Just think how much more productive you could be if you embraced what you seem to still be missing.

Edited by Eric, Mar 6 2014, 4:30pm :

MorganX said,
There are issues with Enterprise particularly upgrading 8 to 8.1. Most of the resistance is IT, and with good reason. When MS exposes all of the Modern UI (all that is reasonable to GPO control/configuration) and provides a way to deal with the requirement for Microsoft accounts for the store and core apps, then you will see this resistance go away.

Wait, what? Did....did you just post a valid complaint with an actual use-case that could be improved without slamming Windows 8 generally in an inane, moronic fashion?

I've found this situation too, and it's more pronounced in a school environment. Trying to preinstall free apps for students to use is a nightmare, and the current situation is a somewhat stupid way of trying to address it. I can understand why it works this way, but surely there's a better way of doing it with Group Policy or something. I live in hope that Windows 9 addresses it, because it's somewhat sloppy ATM.

hagjohn said,
The feature is the dumbing down of the simplistic interface for a few people with mouse and a keyboard who can't seem to be able to navigate around 8.1.

Few is an understatement, touch screen Windows users are a vast minority.

I don't have a touch screen either but I still managed to learn how to use 8 without too much trouble. I miss the good old days where people bitched less and had more constructive criticism. Where new things excited people and not seen as a death sentence by everyone. I'm puzzled by those who feel Microsoft personally injured/insulted/bludgeoned them.

I haven't lost anything. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. If Modern/Metro is enhanced, then I've won. I was just snarking a bit at those who feel personally injured by 8.

Edited by hagjohn, Mar 6 2014, 11:19am :

I work in IT I can tell you people are watching too much Sponge Bob because they are either becoming dumber or simply more lazy by the day. People in general not all of them are resistant to change and simply do not want to learn something new. Life is about change, Microsoft is going the rapid release schedule now and is not going to back down. The world is moving to touch screens and I use a non -touchscreen laptop with win8 and have for over a year. No issue at all using win8 without a touchscreen. Either accept what MS is doing or use a MAC or Linux but the result will be the same with those operating systems as well. Get over it and move on.

@krobin, I find that to be the minority. Keep in mind learning something new with now benefit, is inefficient and a waste of time.

It is Microsoft who must insure there is a benefit or improved efficiencies. Not the user.

hagjohn said,
I miss the good old days where people bitched less and had more constructive criticism. Where new things excited people and not seen as a death sentence by everyone.


I miss the good old days when Microsoft actually listened to customer feedback, when new software being released was actually fun to learn and changes were usually for the better.

Long gone those days are...

Now all we have is failed software, customer contempt and fanboy rage trying to hide it all.

Order_66 said,


I miss the good old days when Microsoft actually listened to customer feedback, when new software being released was actually fun to learn and changes were usually for the better.

Long gone those days are...

Now all we have is failed software, customer contempt and fanboy rage trying to hide it all.

Um. Microsoft did listen to customer feedback. They wanted Microsoft to smarten up with mobile, and they did, and as a nice side effect, brought the PC into the mix as well, which was a good thing.

LOL, Windows 8/8.1 is indeed mostly for the better. Still plenty of SNAFUs but overall the new interface is an improvement.

The trouble is so many tech writers out there (and other moaning people on the internet) started using computers on or after 1995 and felt lost when the paradigm changed for the first time in 17 years. People can get so stuck in their ways...

Order_66 said,


I miss the good old days when Microsoft actually listened to customer feedback, when new software being released was actually fun to learn and changes were usually for the better.

Long gone those days are...

Now all we have is failed software, customer contempt and fanboy rage trying to hide it all.

I share your sentiment, but having been around 'forever', this found golden age never truly existed.

Even when we had direct line access to the NT development team and worked with Microsoft, nobody agreed on most things.

With NT 3.1 many thought the merging of the object based kernel and client/server subsystems with the additional object token security layer were all too theoretical and wouldn't offer enough future extensibility to be worth the performance costs on 1991/1992 hardware.

Even the DOS VDM was a major area of debate and NT's hardware driver isolation was seen as too heavy.

NT started out as a bunch of theories that never existed in a single OS and many inside the NT team and working with Microsoft thought it was going to be more of a conceptual 'research' OS than something that would be viable to compete against the current generation of *nix/Novell/OS-2/etc.

Even as NT 3.1 was released, it was hated by a majority of the IT world, as they were used to having direct access to hardware, and just the idea they couldn't mix IRQs or touch the sound card directly was deemed stupid and a failure.

However, by the time 3.51 and especial NT 4.0 rolled around, the complexity of the OS model and kernel shifted and with 32mb of RAM it was faster than the assembly coded Win95 OS, which shocked even Microsoft.

The extra work NT was doing smoothed out the OS and reduced a lot of extra processing that the monolithic Win95 kernel had to perform to maintain even moderate stability.

In the end, NT is still highly extensible and fast because they dealt with all the overhead complexity 20 years ago, and those choice and taking risks of using theory instead of tried concepts is why Windows 8 can well on a low end ARM device.

If people would have listened to the anti-Microsoft crowds, NT should have failed hard.
Engineers and OS theorists screamed about NT 3.1, people like Jobs and other tech leaders from Sun called NT trash.

The meetings and even the more casual beta groups were just vicious. Everyone complained that Cutler and Microsoft wasn't listening and NT was going to be too slow, and contradictory arguments were everywhere.


This happened with Win95, Win98, Win2k (delayed, changed, etc), XP, Vista etc.


Microsoft 'not' listening was the common conversation, yet in the end, Microsoft made the better decisions the majority of the time, even if it was a bit painful to bring people kicking and screaming into a new age of technology.


The same discourse can be found in virtually every Microsoft beta project.


The trick, is that Microsoft will listen if meet them with enough understanding of what they are doing and can offer them solid information that coincides with their design goals.


The groups may have been smaller back in the 'old days', but Microsoft still listens if you can present that you understand the basics of concepts being debated.

Please don't ever stop reaching out to Microsoft, even if it is just to rant or complain - even on things many of us would completely disagree.

Take care.

That and I guess they listen, if you have something worth listening to.

I've provided feedback over the years and seen it arrive in their products, which I thought was nice, but I tried to justify my approach with my feedback and did it calmly.

These days all we have are a bunch of whiny children who scream the same inane BS over and over again, but can't ever provide a useful alternative or a constructive approach to achieve such a goal. These special people also tend see the feature through their very narrow field of view and never take into account the broader picture.

The Windows registry would be one of the best examples of this. For a decade or so, morons would continually whinge about it, but always fail to see the big picture. They would suggest alternatives that are a complete and utter shambles in comparison (ini files for example) because their narrow view didn't allow them to understand what it was doing, nor the problem they were attempting to fix. There are many things in Windows and Microsoft's world that really are very powerful when you get right into it and have a look (Word and virtually everything it does, if you give it a chance for example; most use it as a souped up version of Notepad), but these are seldom acknowledged or even recognised.

Ideas Man said,
That and I guess they listen, if you have something worth listening to.

I've provided feedback over the years and seen it arrive in their products, which I thought was nice, but I tried to justify my approach with my feedback and did it calmly.

These days all we have are a bunch of whiny children who scream the same inane BS over and over again, but can't ever provide a useful alternative or a constructive approach to achieve such a goal. These special people also tend see the feature through their very narrow field of view and never take into account the broader picture.

The Windows registry would be one of the best examples of this. For a decade or so, morons would continually whinge about it, but always fail to see the big picture. They would suggest alternatives that are a complete and utter shambles in comparison (ini files for example) because their narrow view didn't allow them to understand what it was doing, nor the problem they were attempting to fix. There are many things in Windows and Microsoft's world that really are very powerful when you get right into it and have a look (Word and virtually everything it does, if you give it a chance for example; most use it as a souped up version of Notepad), but these are seldom acknowledged or even recognised.

I agree. Your post reminds me of a saying my mother used in management consulting.

"If you have a complaint and/or demonstrate a problem without a solution, it is only bitching." -Mom