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Microsoft Releases Third Wave of Windows 8.1 Updates

The Windows 8.1 preview release received a third set of non-security updates from Microsoft this week.

The third wave of Windows 8.1 updates is dated July 23 and relates to stability issues and various flaws in the operating system, as well as in the Internet Explorer 11 browser.

Microsoft details the new updates in three Knowledge Base articles:

  • KB 2870257 Service metadata packages in Windows 8.1 Preview. This fix addresses problems with the service metadata packages of "some network operators." For instance, the patch can fix issues with the "tethering: feature. Microsoft has previously described tethering as a Windows 8.1 networking feature that can enable a device to serve as a Wi-Fi hotspot.

  • KB 2871052 Stability of SkyDrive in Windows 8.1 Preview. No details are provided on what is getting fixed.

  • KB 2871055 Viewing a Web page with a timer in IE 11 Preview on Windows 8.1 Preview. This bug is described as being an issue with Web pages set to render in the IE 10 document mode that also contain VBScripts associated with timer code. When the pages are viewed in the IE 11 Preview browser, the VBScript code doesn't start correctly, according to Microsoft.

The three fixes are being released through Microsoft's Windows Update service, so they'll arrive automatically for those with that feature turned on.

Microsoft has been releasing Windows 8.1 Preview fixes on a more accelerated schedule. For instance, so far, about 11 fixes have been released over a four-week period. This faster release cadence may either be a new policy for Microsoft's beta software or it may be a model for more frequent OS updates to come for Microsoft's flagship OS.

Microsoft seems to be addressing basic problems in Windows 8.1 Preview in these patch releases. While the OS is still at a beta test stage, a more polished version is near at hand. Microsoft has indicated that the release-to-manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 8.1 likely will arrive sometime late next month. The RTM is the version used by PC manufacturers to prepare devices for shipment. The exact date of the RTM release hasn't been publicized yet.

Windows 8.1 restores the Start button (or something like it), and allows bootups directly to the Desktop side of Windows 8.1, among other improvements. Installing the Preview, though, comes with lots of caveats.

About the Author

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

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