Reports: Next Update for Windows 8.1 on Track for August Release
Various Internet rumors are claiming that Update 2 will have new features and functionality.
The next Windows 8.1 update is in the pipeline for release in August, according to news accounts. What the update will include is another matter, and less clear.
Media reports pointed to a possible confirmation that Microsoft will release a new operating system update, called "Windows 8.1 Update 2," on Aug. 12.
Microsoft has not indicated that Update 2 is coming, so the idea remains at the rumor stage. Veteran Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley said in late June that a second update to Windows 8.1 will arrive during Microsoft's Patch Tuesday release date in August, namely on Aug. 12.
In the meantime, other media sources are claiming to have confirmed the rumor.
The latest "confirmation" of that rumor purportedly comes from a Russian-language PC Portal Web site. An article on that site is said to describe an "August Update" that's planned for "release as a standalone update on 8/12/2014 and will include new features and functionality." Various media reports on Monday showed a screenshot with that language. For instance, this Neowin article shows the screenshot.
Foley previously reported that Microsoft is expected to have completed the rumored Windows 8.1 Update 2 by around July 29, or two weeks before the August Patch Tuesday release. She suggested that Update 2 would not include many new features. It might be quietly pushed out as part of Microsoft's patch releases, she added. Earlier rumor talk had suggested that Windows 8.1 Update 2 could be timed for the fall holiday season, which may reflect a release-to-manufacturing schedule.
Microsoft released its first Windows 8.1 Update in April, adding improvements for keyboard and mouse users. That update included a sharp June 10 deadline to either install the update or forfeit getting future patch updates from Microsoft.
Windows 8.1 Update 2, if arriving, apparently will not be the same as Windows "Threshold," which is Microsoft's next operating system under development. Microsoft has confirmed the existence of the Threshold project. The Threshold release will include a new Start Menu that combines Live Tiles with a list of applications in its display. Microsoft is also considering enabling Windows Store Apps (formerly known as "Metro" apps) to run in sizeable Windows, even on the Desktop side of the operating system. Those details were included in a description by Tony Prophet, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Windows Marketing for the Worldwide Partner Channel, during last week's Worldwide Partner Conference.
Foley, based on her sources, has predicted that Threshold will arrive sometime in the spring of 2015. The improvements in the Threshold OS release will be designed mostly to "win over Windows 7 users," she suggested.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.