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Microsoft Releases Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 Update

A cumulative update for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 is now available.

The update, which Microsoft released on Tuesday, will be delivered automatically to some users of Microsoft's Windows Update service, such as enterprise customers or MSDN subscribers. It's also available for download at the Microsoft Download Center here.

The update is arriving even before some of the products are released. For instance, Windows Server 2012 was released as a final product in September, but Windows 8 is scheduled for "general availability" (final product release) on Oct. 26.

Microsoft's cumulative update, known as Knowledge Base article KB 2756872, contains updates to the components of both operating systems. However, new improvements to Windows 8 are included in the update. Those Windows 8 improvements are:

  • "Increased power efficiency to extend battery life;
  • "Performance improvements in Windows 8 applications and Start screen;
  • "Improved audio and video playback in many scenarios; and
  • "Improved application and driver compatibility with Windows 8"

Microsoft pointed to one known glitch in the cumulative update. It's apparently associated with the Remote Access feature, requiring users to perform a system restart.

Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft's president of the Windows Division, noted that this release reflects a new speeded-up testing process at Microsoft. Typically, Microsoft fixes issues at the release-to-manufacturing stage when working with original equipment manufacturers. But others wanting to see those changes would have to wait for the first service pack to get them via software. With the new testing process in place, Windows 8 will be complete at general availability time, Sinofsky claimed, according to a Microsoft blog post.

"By developing better test automation and test coverage tools we are happy to say that Windows 8 will be totally up to date for all customers starting at General Availability," Sinofsky wrote in the post. "If you are an MSDN or enterprise customer, these updates will be available for your Windows 8 PCs via Windows Update as of today (October 9), following our standard cadence for Windows Updates on the second Tuesday of each month at about 10:00am."

Sinofsky didn't indicate when other users would get the cumulative update, although it's available for download by anyone now.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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