Windows 8.1 Update is a mandatory update for Windows 8.1 users

Microsoft released Windows 8.1 in October 2013, and while it was recommended for all Windows 8 users, it was not a requirement to continue receiving support from the company. That won't be the case for Windows 8,1 users when it comes to Tuesday's release of Windows 8.1 Update as it will be delivered via Windows update.

In a Microsoft Premier Field Engineering Platform blog post, the company flat out says that Windows 8.1 Update is a required download for Windows 8.1 users. The blog post states:

Failure to install this Update will prevent Windows Update from patching your system with any future updates starting with Updates released in May 2014 (get busy!)

Windows 8 users who have yet to update to Windows 8.1 don't necessarily need to also download this update, although it might not be a bad idea. Microsoft has already announced that it will stop supporting Windows 8 in the very near future. Previously, the company indicated that it will end support for Windows 8 two years after the launch of Windows 8.1, which would be on October 18th, 2015. Now a new FAQ page says that the final date for Windows 8 support has been moved back a few more months and it will now end on January 12th, 2016.

Mainstream support for Windows 8.1 will end January 9th, 2018 and Extended Support will stop on January 10th, 2023.

Source: Microsoft

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blade1269 said,
For some reason I can not install 8.1 on on machine with a pentium 4. Does this update fix that?

I'm certainly sure that Windows 9, Windows 10, Windows 11, Windows 12, and all future Windows will be gratefully blessed by such inability.

No issues with this whatsoever. I installed it from MSDN and happy with it. The changes are for better.

Will you be able to go to 8.1 Update through Windows Update straight from a Windows 8 install, or do you have to go to 8.1 first then update?

That's what I want to know as well. Will it detect that if you are running Windows 8 and don't have 8.1 update already installed that this new update wont even be shown? I'm curious to find out now :)

Mandatory for Windows Server 2012 R2 too. Excellent. And it took about an hour to install on a dual cpu / 3GB RAM sample VM. And we only find this information out a week before it's released. Good going Microsoft - thanks a lot.

Pissed. Off. But thankful we haven't RUSHED to deploy Windows Server 2012 R2 everywhere yet :|

Edited by Chicane-UK, Apr 8 2014, 7:37am :

PotatoAlchemist said,
Is it that bad that it's -this- mandatory from their perspective?

It's just frustrating from my point of view because it's as inconvenient as a Service Pack to deploy, but it simply was not made clear that it would NEED to be installed in order to continue getting updates. And even then, Microsoft gave you some grace to get a Service Pack installed and didn't immediately drop support for non-service packed systems.

Oh - and no mention of the update on their support matrix.

http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?p1=17383

Not happy.

That seems to be a very aggressive stance, especially on the server market. On the consumer side, it seems less of an inconvenience (for some it still is) because it tends to mimic the rapid upgrade cycle that of a mobile experience. Putting the rather free pricetag away for this update, it still is something more of a major update than minor because it can cause some software compability issue nonetheless.

I can only advise you to do various testings both on virtual and on the actual hardware, even if it's just one machine or two, to ensure everything is in order and that it won't be a pain getting the others updated with this must update too.

PotatoAlchemist said,
That seems to be a very aggressive stance, especially on the server market. On the consumer side, it seems less of an inconvenience (for some it still is) because it tends to mimic the rapid upgrade cycle that of a mobile experience. Putting the rather free pricetag away for this update, it still is something more of a major update than minor because it can cause some software compability issue nonetheless.

I can only advise you to do various testings both on virtual and on the actual hardware, even if it's just one machine or two, to ensure everything is in order and that it won't be a pain getting the others updated with this must update too.

My plan is to find some sacrificial / low usage systems out of the number we've provisioned, create a new group for them in WSUS and then test applying this update in our maintenance window, to see how they cope. Then look to roll that out across the rest of that estate once we're satisfied it installs nicely.

Chicane-UK said,

My plan is to find some sacrificial / low usage systems out of the number we've provisioned, create a new group for them in WSUS and then test applying this update in our maintenance window, to see how they cope. Then look to roll that out across the rest of that estate once we're satisfied it installs nicely.

Sounds like a plan. As long as the tools are ready for capturing and deployment, it should go seamless more or less. At least hopefully the update isn't something that might disrupt this process. :p

I won't be installing this update until 7+ Taskbar Tweaker is updated for compatibility with it.
Mandatory update or not, I'm not letting it break one of my favorite Explorer add-ons.

Even for a rapid release, the changes are pretty major and groundbreaking (not literally, though :p). Still, this gives us some time to hold the update off until May hits, even afterwards but apparently the upcoming updates won't be installable. Hopefully the devs will get 7+ Taskbar Tweaker working by on Update 1 by then.

DJGM said,
I won't be installing this update until 7+ Taskbar Tweaker is updated for compatibility with it.
Have you donated to the upgrade effort?

As you've not mentioned this, perhaps I misunderstood this part of the post when I read it:

>>>
Windows 8.1 media/WIMs/TechNet ISOs/Store bits/etc will be slipstreamed with this Update in the near term
>>>

I was under the impression this meant they'd start putting 8.1 out through Windows Update to move all 8.0 users to 8.1.1.

Or did I misunderstand?

Actually from what I can tell, it's more like whatever ways you'll get to Windows 8.1 media wise, it'll have Update 1 integrated into it, rather than the stock one that got released since October (or even earlier). But about the Store bits, that's intriguing. Either they mean that the Store apps will be also come up-to-date within the ISO, .wim and such or that there might be a better way to get it than just from Windows Store.

ultimate99 said,
Shouldn't it be available now?

If it's being pushed like other Windows Updates this month, they tend to go live at about 6-7PM GMT.

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