Microsoft goof lets anyone grab Windows 8.1 Update 1

Windows 8.1 Update 1
Slipped thru Redmond's grasp

Too impatient to wait until next month to download the first big update to Microsoft's latest desktop OS? If you know where to look, you might not have to. Then again, you may not want to just yet.

Wind of a release to manufacturing (RTM) build of the forthcoming Windows 8.1 Update 1 started making the rounds of public cloud storage services after mistakenly being released by none other than Microsoft itself.

Although the update isn't due for a public release until April 8, the leaked build is what manufacturers use to make sure their hardware is ready to go, especially for PCs that will ship with the latest version of Windows already installed.

Adventurous types won't have to wait nearly that long, since the RTM build of Update 1 is now available for download, assuming you know where to look.

Mega leak

The update flap began with Microsoft's enthusiasm for getting Update 1 into the hands of its employees, using the public Windows Update servers to post the build with a file name that wouldn't be obvious to outsiders.

That tactic apparently backfired, allowing non-employees to access and download the files using little more than a "simple software tweak," and it didn't take long for those files to get uploaded to cloud storage lockers such as Mega.

But just because you can download now, doesn't mean you should. Mashable noted the RTM build is likely missing many "hardware-specific drivers" as well as links to services that have yet to be updated, making Update 1 a dubious prospect at the moment.

Windows 8.1 Update 1 is expected to include improvements to the so-called "modern" UI including the ability to boot straight into the Desktop, the return of shutdown on the Start screen and a more familiar task bar that aims to unify the old and new user interfaces.

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