Windows 8.1's second update may arrive in August

Microsoft just released the first major update for Windows 8.1 last week, but apparently the second could be right around the corner.

According to a report by ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, her sources indicate the second major update for Windows 8.1 could come in August. The update is part of Microsoft’s increasing effort to speed up the release cycle for its flagship operating system, Foley says, which would be in line with previous leaks about a rapid release cadence.

It’s not clear if Windows 8.1’s second major update would include the revamped Start menu, though it seems highly likely. A recent rumor indicated the Start menu would return before the end of the year. What likely won’t be included, Foley says, is the ability to run Metro apps windowed on the desktop, which Microsoft also previewed at its Build 2014 conference this month.

Windowed Metro apps could arrive in time for Windows 9, which is still likely targeted for an early 2015 release. Beyond that, Foley claims Microsoft is still working toward releasing a unified Windows SKU that would run on both smartphones and small tablets. The new Windows SKU wouldn’t include a desktop, she states, and it “is unlikely to be Windows RT as we know it.” ARM-powered devices would likely be the SKU’s primary target.

The updates appear to be a way for Microsoft to better distinguish between PC and tablet users, which would go a long way toward easing some of the tension created by Windows 8’s interface quibbles. Users have long complained that Metro isn’t appealing for devices without touchscreens, while the desktop has remained a largely unnecessary aspect of Windows RT, as it has primarily been used a legacy mode for the ARM-powered operating system.

Source: ZDNet

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Nothing exciting on this update. What they are putting there can already be done with either star8, modern mix or StartisBack and above all in a much efficient manner. Putting Metro apps on start menu looks crap anyway. If MS provide option to completely get it rid off from start menu then will think about it.

MS should stop taking time with this since I can't wait anymore. Forget about the live tiles, MS should copy and paste the source code of the start menu from Windows 7 and put in Windows 8.1 and call it a Update. A big company like MS shouldn't need 4 to 5 months to release a feature that they already have the source code for. Save the live tiles and Metro integration for Windows 9. I want the start menu back in 2 to 3 months at the most.

We're almost into May now, and it's rumored to be coming in August so there's the 3 months for you. If you're in such a tearing hurry though you can use any of the free or paid Start menu apps. What are you waiting for?

WinMetro said,
MS should stop taking time with this since I can't wait anymore. Forget about the live tiles, MS should copy and paste the source code of the start menu from Windows 7 and put in Windows 8.1 and call it a Update.

Dear God, no. No. No. Just, no. There's no Windows 8 integration, and it just looks horrendous. If all that's keeping you from upgrading is a stupid menu, why not just upgrade now and use something else?

Yeah, so many keep saying just that and yet will not or cannot switch to anything else, so they should just stop kidding themselves or migrate to a different platform if they truly cannot stand the current state of affairs.

Makes me wonder what the compelling, visually distinctive "features" of Windows 9 are going to be. I had figured that Windows 9 would bring both the start menu and the metro-on-desktop-in-windows features as its major distinction from Windows 8, but now I have no idea what will set Windows 9 apart as a major new version...

pmbAustin said,
Makes me wonder what the compelling, visually distinctive "features" of Windows 9 are going to be. I had figured that Windows 9 would bring both the start menu and the metro-on-desktop-in-windows features as its major distinction from Windows 8, but now I have no idea what will set Windows 9 apart as a major new version...

Metro 2.0 according to rumors.

The window dressing is just another example of "putting a new dress on an old lady." Windows-9 would be the opportunity to "get it right, this time," i.e., selectable UI/GUI for the device on which Windows-9 is to be installed.

Not bothered about windowed metro apps, I never use them anyway. Return of the start menu would be welcomed though so I can start loading 8.1 onto the computers of regular people.

Javik said,
Not bothered about windowed metro apps .....

I'm dying to play Minesweeper on expert but it takes up too much space in Modern.

I'd love to have that windowed again.

deadonthefloor said,

I'm dying to play Minesweeper on expert but it takes up too much space in Modern.

I'd love to have that windowed again.

Eh, because you're multitasking while trying to beat the clock in Minesweeper? Come on, that's a poor justification.

Javik said,
Not bothered about windowed metro apps, I never use them anyway. Return of the start menu would be welcomed though so I can start loading 8.1 onto the computers of regular people.

Regular people don't mind Windows 8 as it is. Only crazies that can't handle a little change do.

mrp04 said,

Regular people don't mind Windows 8 as it is. Only crazies that can't handle a little change do.


... and those that want to work on their computers and generally all desktop users and power users and ...

DaveBG said,

... and those that want to work on their computers and generally all desktop users and power users and ...

looking at most of the people I've talked to and worked with regular and power users don't like it, the best response to it so far had been it's "meh" even the youngest tech head in our group "late 20's" forced himself to use it for a month and removed it and went back to 7 after some colorful language on his feelings for it. I myself don't find the new GUI hard to learn just annoying.

"generally all desktop users and power users" lol, no it doesn't work that way...
"looking at most people I've talked to and worked with" much better. i can work with that. i can even understand that to some extent. i've seen quite a bit of that myself. in my experience, the people that have taken on windows 8.x as something new and yes, different, and stuck with it like myself, love it. i'll admit, i didn't always love it, but i wouldn't go back now. no way! as a graphic designer and a computer tech on the side i really have gotten to love it. i find the people i interact with, after some coaxing haven't even given it a fair try. they have read articles or are parroting the sentiments of the people who didn't like it. i would like them to make up their mind on their own. i think a lot of people are just following what the masses are saying. many of my clients, friends and family have never been happier and had less trouble with their computers, but only after my coaxing! :) one thing i really think microsoft did a poor job of is showcasing all of the new and different aspects of the OS. there are a couple of wonderful videos on youtube that should be must-see videos for anyone getting windows 8.x. after seeing a simple informative overview of what has changed and how to adapt, almost everyone i have dealt with have never looked back. i still don't understand why microsoft didn't do something like that with the new 8.1, but short of that - it is different, and it does take time to get used to, and it is superior in many ways in my opinion. :)

Edited by menace97, May 12 2014, 1:30pm :

Vandrey Trindade said,
Sorry to ask this here but, anyone got the new redesigned Windows Store UI after the 8.1 update 1? Mine didn't changed...

They haven't pushed it out yet, no one has it.

trooper11 said,
Good to see MS trying to stay aggressive with updates. Most people will be happy to hear that.

People/Consumers indeed, Businesses/IT.... not so sure.

Cosmocronos said,

People/Consumers indeed, Businesses/IT.... not so sure.

Consumers demand rapid updates, IT does not, but you can't just cater to one side.

Consumers won't understand if you try to explain to them why a slower release cycle is needed since others do rapid releases. That means MS has to cater to both as best it can.

trooper11 said,

Consumers demand rapid updates, IT does not, but you can't just cater to one side.

Consumers won't understand if you try to explain to them why a slower release cycle is needed since others do rapid releases. That means MS has to cater to both as best it can.


True and this is the problem: being able to satisfy both sides. Note as MS extended the time to upgrade to Update 1 from, if I remember correctly, 30 to 120 days.

ZDNET: Last year, during a financial-analyst conference, you made it seem as though there might be different cadences of deliverables for different customer sets. The idea was maybe not all customers -- especially those in the enterprise -- want and need regular, constant updates. Are you still thinking that way?

MYERSON: We are. It's too soon to like share what we'll actually do, but I think that's true. There is a mission critical deployment. There is a factory floor deployment of Windows. There is a my mother-in-law's PC. And then there's what satisfies my 12-year old son. He wants the latest and greatest and he'll tolerate things that are different.

Being able to satisfy (all those) customers, delight (all those) customers is something that we really want to do. So maybe it's not (a split along) consumer and enterprise but you could categorize it as consumer and enterprise in some ways. It's a simplification of the spectrum.

From http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft...-cross-platform-7000028291/

Isn't Metro on the desktop already available on 8.1.1? I think what Mary Jo meant was the ability to open them floating on the desktop, not always filling the whole screen.

Justin Luna said,
Isn't Metro on the desktop already available on 8.1.1? I think what Mary Jo meant was the ability to open them floating on the desktop, not always filling the whole screen.

Windowed Metro/Modern apps were showed during BUILD but are not available yet. IMO the sooner the OS will have such ability... the better

Cosmocronos said,

Windowed Metro/Modern apps were showed during BUILD but are not available yet. IMO the sooner the OS will have such ability... the better

I completely agree! Maybe they were prematurely released, but once the full potential is unveiled, people will probably eat their words. Granted, Microsoft didn't make things easy and well, easily likeable, and it just annoyed people, but people were quick to judge.

It certainly has a limited palette for reasons they believe to be a benefit, but if you think the colors looks similar... wow! I can only hope you are making light of the flat limited color palette.

Or maybe you are getting nostalgic about having beveled edges everywhere and shadows that add a lot of depth and realism. I would have preferred if they included old "looks" or "themes" from previous versions of windows, since color depth and technology obviously been lessened.

xankazo said,
Rapid release is the best! I'm a bit confused about this no-desktop thingy, though.

An OS that will run on phone and tablets doesn't need a desktop, my HTC 8X WP doesn't have a desktop for example. I doubt many 8" tablets need it either. Once more of the controls that are located in the desktop (mostly in control panel but in other areas), makes their way over to metro/modern and with the touch versions of Office apps then I honestly don't see why you'd need the desktop.

George P said,

An OS that will run on phone and tablets doesn't need a desktop, my HTC 8X WP doesn't have a desktop for example. I doubt many 8" tablets need it either. Once more of the controls that are located in the desktop (mostly in control panel but in other areas), makes their way over to metro/modern and with the touch versions of Office apps then I honestly don't see why you'd need the desktop.


It depends what do you mean with "Tablet"; for example: I am looking to buy a 8" Tablet but I would never consider something without Windows Explorer.
Nowadays the term "Tablet" is used to define very different kind of devices: from "Media", "Consumption" devices like the iPad to more complete, able to be used both for productivity and entertainment, ones like my Lenovo Convertible.

Cosmocronos said,

It depends what do you mean with "Tablet"; for example: I am looking to buy a 8" Tablet but I would never consider something without Windows Explorer.
Nowadays the term "Tablet" is used to define very different kind of devices: from "Media", "Consumption" devices like the iPad to more complete, able to be used both for productivity and entertainment, ones like my Lenovo Convertible.

The no desktop version of Windows would be for ARM powered devices. If you would "never consider something without Windows Explorer" then you're likely looking at x86 compatible devices only and it doesn't apply to you. They are trying to merge Windows on ARM (formerly RT) with Windows Phone and dropping the desktop (ARM devices can't run x86 desktop apps anyway) in the process.

Asmodai said,

The no desktop version of Windows would be for ARM powered devices. If you would "never consider something without Windows Explorer" then you're likely looking at x86 compatible devices only and it doesn't apply to you. They are trying to merge Windows on ARM (formerly RT) with Windows Phone and dropping the desktop (ARM devices can't run x86 desktop apps anyway) in the process.

If it's true, the this probably makes the most sense. I'm sure there are still some core elements that both Windows Phone and Windows on ARM can benefit when getting merged. Then it'll be scalable to phones and ARM tablets as Android is now. One OS, different sort of mobile devices, interface being adaptable to all sizes.

Cosmocronos said,
.... I am looking to buy a 8" Tablet but I would never consider something without Windows Explorer.....

Agreed.
Until there is a viable modern alternative installed by default provided by MS, there is still a need for a desktop on 'tablet PCs'. Pickers in apps just don't do the job of managing the content.
Plus proper SMB support in the pickers would be nice addition as well. Having to type the servername is bunk.

Heck, I would like a good file browser for the phone as well.

Asmodai said,

The no desktop version of Windows would be for ARM powered devices. If you would "never consider something without Windows Explorer" then you're likely looking at x86 compatible devices only and it doesn't apply to you. They are trying to merge Windows on ARM (formerly RT) with Windows Phone and dropping the desktop (ARM devices can't run x86 desktop apps anyway) in the process.

Absolutely! My comment was related to the statement "A Tablet does not need a desktop" where I argued about the fact that the definition of Tablet has widened since BG launched the concept in 2002; in other words both an iPad and my Lenovo ThinkPad Convertible are Tablets but they are, IMO at least, aimed to a very different clientele....with different needs.
Besides, does not the Surface (RT) have Office? If so how does it work? Emulator?

Edited by Cosmocronos, Apr 22 2014, 5:58pm :

Cosmocronos said,
Besides, does not the Surface (RT) have Office? If so how does it work? Emulator?

Office for Surface (RT) is recompiled and digitally signed by MS for ARM.

Modern Office is coming and is by my account better than desktop for the simple reason that all document spaces are DirectX canvases. The surrounding windows chrome is Windows Runtime based XAML.

You guys needs to stop calling modern apps "metro apps". MSFT will never again call them that. Use the correct term please. I realize many refer to them as that but you're reporting on a technical term and you should use the technical name they have. It is ok to say "also known as metro" but you should move on. MSFT has. Even the name "modern" is basically being phased out with "Store apps" becoming the more correct term.

There isn't a "correct term," as you accidentally pointed out yourself. Microsoft has alternated between "Modern apps" (both capitalized and lowercased) and "Windows Store apps," and it hasn't given a clear indication of what the proper term is. I'll stick with the term people know.

Metro is fine. Just because MS doesnt want to pay the company that has it as a trademark or even test using it further or not doesnt preclude us calling it what they originally called them and most people call them.

Some of us have documentation to write and get on with our lives. ;)

I wouldnt be surprised that MS just changes the name of their apps to the symbol that Prince used for awhile at the rate they're going.

neonspark said,
You guys needs to stop calling modern apps "metro apps". MSFT will never again call them that. Use the correct term please.

After how many years/months will we be able to stop calling them "Modern" ?
The gap between launch and "old-fashioned" is never long for tech products.

It's a silly name - "sandboxed" would be more apt and longer lasting (and polite).

Edited by gb8080, Apr 22 2014, 5:11pm :

neonspark said,
You guys needs to stop calling modern apps "metro apps". MSFT will never again call them that. Use the correct term please.

I have a problem calling anything in windows 8.x "modern" since this failed OS is regressive in regards to the UI as the market share stats clearly demonstrate.

Probably the only thing "modern" is the newer control panel, and even that is questionable.

Order_66 said,

I have a problem calling anything in windows 8.x "modern" since this failed OS is regressive in regards to the UI as the market share stats clearly demonstrate.

Probably the only thing "modern" is the newer control panel, and even that is questionable.

Mind sharing these "stats" you are talking about? LOL ;)

neonspark said,
You guys needs to stop calling modern apps "metro apps". MSFT will never again call them that. Use the correct term please.

But you know exactly what we're talking about when we say "Metro" apps.

And isn't that the point of language? To get a message across? To communicate?

Order_66 said,

I have a problem calling anything in windows 8.x "modern" since this failed OS is regressive in regards to the UI as the market share stats clearly demonstrate.

Probably the only thing "modern" is the newer control panel, and even that is questionable.

Couldn't have said that any better! :)

If they would've done Windows 8 correctly from the start, there would be no need to be "rushing" out these huge a** updates/upgrades/service packs!

OMG! Yeah it is absolutely clear by these figures that the problem is evident. *rolls eyes*

Let me guess, you haven't realized that everything changes and will continue to change and don't want anything to change about windows, well except minor "enhancements" without deviating from the archaic pattern. I wouldn't consider myself a Windows 8.x zealot, lol, but I am clever enough to realize that if Microsoft didn't change anything, people would criticize them for not doing enough, but if they took a bold step and tried something completely different, the very same people would be right there shaking their fists at them for doing something different and unique. Yes, I will agree, Windows 8 took a while to grow on me, but it didn't take long for me to see the advantages and applaud Microsoft for making a bold move. So they need to refine things, as things always need to be honed. Fine, stay back while the rest of us move forward utilizing new technologies and advantages ( I'm assuming you don't have a lot of ram). Zealots... lol.

Obry said,

So you call 12-13% of global OS share a failure? Maybe not the huge success Microsoft had hoped for but if you call that a failure then what do you call OS X with it's 4% share - failure too?

After being on the market for 1 1/2 years and having an even lower adoption rate than Vista for most of that time period, absolutely! windows 8.x is pure failure.
Windows 8.x was even overtaken by windows 7 market growth for several months during the same period.

Pure 100% failure.

What is OSX? grossly overpriced and not practical because you are forced to pay a premium for the hardware, hardly a comparison to the microsoft monopoly but zealots love to use OSX and even linux while hiding from the embarrassing, well established facts about the colossal failure of windows 8.x.

As long as the releases are being delivered through Windows Update and NOT through the Store. 8.1 was more of an upgrade than an update. I like how Update 1 was handled, just like every other regular Patch Tuesday update.

8.1 update 1 was more like a service pack but 8.0 to 8.1 is an entire new OS. Most people don't realize this. If they gave an option for the OEM systems to download the 8.1 media this whole fiasco could have been easier to deal with on the clean install.

I can't say the update 1 does not work. It works fine on systems where the person hasn't butchered the filesystem or install all kinds of software. On systems where its a clean install I have had zero issues on this. What is good though now when people do the 8 to 8.1 upgrade they get the update 1 rolled in.

Foley claims Microsoft is still working toward releasing a unified Windows SKU that would run on both smartphones and small tablets. The new Windows SKU wouldn't include a desktop, she states, and it “is unlikely to be Windows RT as we know it.”

No desktop and not Windows RT. What is it? o.O

pratnala said,

No desktop and not Windows RT. What is it? o.O


As in it wouldn't necessarily be exactly like the current version of Windows RT, even with the desktop gone. Think a melding of Windows Phone and Windows RT.

Anthony Tosie said,
As in it wouldn't necessarily be exactly like the current version of Windows RT, even with the desktop gone. Think a melding of Windows Phone and Windows RT.

Confirming what I've said from the get-go: Windows RT in its current form (with desktop) only exists because the whole thing was a rush job and stopgap solution until Microsoft works out a full touchscreen experience.