Skip to main content

A Patch Tuesday treat? Windows 8.1 Update 1 release pinned on March 11

Windows 8.1 Update 1
And on we wait for Windows 9

It's safe to say Windows 8 has its detractors, and Microsoft is fully aware the OS hasn't been the most popular new kid on the block.

To remedy some of W8's woes, Microsoft introduced Windows 8.1, and now it seems the company is gearing up to release yet another fixer-upper in the form of Windows 8.1 Update 1.

According to an "accurate and trusted" source of ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft plans to release the update on March 11, which happens to be a Patch Tuesday.

Because it's likely Microsoft will push Update 1 out via a Windows Update, the timing looks plausible.

What Windows 8.1 Update 1 will deliver

According to the source, the minor update will bring improvements such as lowering memory usage and disk space requirements for the OS.

The added optimization should improve Windows 8.1 performance on PCs, but interestingly the update could make the full OS less taxing on cheaper, smaller tablets.

Previously leaked Windows 8.1 Update 1 screenshots revealed Metro-style and Windows Store apps finally returning to the Desktop taskbar. It's a seemingly small change but another update that wrests back full Desktop functionality from Metro's "Start Menu" grip.

Parallel with Windows Phone 8.1?

Some suspect the next update for Windows Phone (a.k.a. Windows Phone 8.1 or "Blue") will release to manufacturing before Build 2014 kicks off on April 2, making its way to consumers later that month. The date would put it within weeks of Update 1's release, if the March 11 send-out happens.

Despite the proximity of these release dates, Foley's sources indicated there won't be API changes with Windows 8.1 Update 1 that align it more closely to Windows Phone 8.1. Instead, Update 1 looks more focused on improving the experience for business users.

One last point: It doesn't look like a new "mini" Start Menu - mini because it won't take up the whole screen like the Windows 8 Start Menu - will arrive with W8.1 Update 1.

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee is the Hardware and Roundups Editor at IGN Entertainment. Prior to IGN Entertainment, he worked at TechRadar.