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Windows 8.1 Update 1 Release Reportedly Pushed Back to April

The first update to Microsoft's Windows 8.1 is now expected to arrive in April instead of March, as previously reported.

The targeted ship date for Windows 8.1 Update 1 now appears to be April 8, according to veteran Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley, citing unnamed sources. That date coincides with Microsoft's scheduled Patch Tuesday security release for April.

If Foley's account bears out, Windows 8.1 Update 1's release would fall after Microsoft's Build developer event, which happens on April 2.

However, the April 8 release date is still at the rumor stage; Microsoft hasn't publicly disclosed when the next update will be released. Previously, Foley's sources had told her that March 11 would be the release date.

Foley said that the supposed pushback of Update 1's ship date may have occurred because the March 11 date was just an "ambitious" estimate, adding that original equipment manufacturers might still get the update in early March. Perhaps that means that the March date was just the "release to manufacturing" (RTM) date, rather than the "general availability" (GA) date. That idea was considered by Wes Miller, research vice president at independent consultancy Directions on Microsoft.

Miller added in another Twitter post that the April release could have "distinct licensing implications, especially for server." Microsoft of late has timed its Windows client releases close to its Windows Server releases, and even System Center joined Microsoft's last general availability Windows releases.

Leaks of Windows 8.1 Update 1 have been spotted. Based on reviews, it's thought that the update mostly will benefit mouse users.

For instance, it appears that application close controls will be added for Windows Store Apps ("Metro" apps), along with context menus accessed via right mouse button clicks. There is also supposed to be a new power button and search button appearing on the Windows Store Apps start screen.

Foley speculated that a rumored boot-to-desktop addition in Update 1 will be the default setup choice only for new Windows 8.1 computers that lack touch-sensitive screens. Another rumored improvement is an "enterprise mode" for Internet Explorer 11 that purportedly will help organizations with browser compatibility issues.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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