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Second Windows 8.1 Update Reportedly Coming August

A new operating system update called "Windows 8.1 Update 2" may arrive on Aug. 12, according to media reports on Monday.

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley said last month that a second Windows 8.1 update will arrive as part of Microsoft's August security patch release, which is scheduled for Aug. 12.

Microsoft has not officially indicated that Update 2 is coming, so it remains in the rumor stage. However, other media sources are claiming to have confirmed the rumor.

The latest "confirmation" of that rumor purportedly comes from a Russian-language PC Portal Web site. An article on that site is said to describe an "August Update" that's planned for "release as a standalone update on 8/12/2014 and will include new features and functionality." Various media reports on Monday showed a screenshot with that language. For instance, this Neowin article shows the screenshot.

Foley previously reported that Microsoft is expected to have completed the rumored Windows 8.1 Update 2 by around July 29, or two weeks before the August Patch Tuesday release. She suggested that Update 2 would not include many new features. It might be quietly pushed out as part of Microsoft's patch releases, she added. Earlier rumor talk had suggested that Windows 8.1 Update 2 could be timed for the fall holiday season, which may reflect a release-to-manufacturing schedule.

Microsoft released its first Windows 8.1 Update in April, adding improvements for keyboard and mouse users. That update included a sharp June 10 deadline to either install the update or forfeit getting future patch updates from Microsoft.

Windows 8.1 Update 2, if arriving, apparently will not be the same as Windows "Threshold," which is Microsoft's next operating system under development. Microsoft has confirmed the existence of the Threshold project. The Threshold release will include a new Start Menu that combines Live Tiles with a list of applications in its display. Microsoft is also considering enabling Windows Store Apps (formerly known as "Metro" apps) to run in sizeable Windows, even on the Desktop side of the operating system. Those details were included in a description by Tony Prophet, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Windows Marketing for the Worldwide Partner Channel, during last week's Worldwide Partner Conference.

Foley, based on her sources, has predicted that Threshold will arrive sometime in the spring of 2015. The improvements in the Threshold OS release will be designed mostly to "win over Windows 7 users," she suggested.

About the Author

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

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