In spring 2014 Microsoft is expected to release a pre-Threshold update, which this far is known as Windows 8.1 “Update 1”. Most of the changes in “Update 1” will happen under the hood, instead of visually, as the software giant is trying to merge part of the programming code in Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 to make it a bit simpler for developers to create apps that run on both operating systems. And today, WZor, a source who is known for leaking information about Microsoft’s OS has published a number of screenshots of the current stage of Windows 8.1 Update 1 — Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro Version 6.3 (Build 9600.16581.amd64fre.winblues14_gdr_lean.131222-20130).
At this point WZor screenshots don’t show any new features or changes in the user interface of Windows 8.1 and for those already wondering, he hasn’t leaked the Windows 8.1 Update 1 ISO, but he did mentioned that a number of PC makers will be available to download a build in the coming weeks — so don’t put your hopes up for a preview version in this update.
According to the the same source Microsoft may be preparing to release the RTM version of Windows 8.1 Update 1 in March with public availability later in April 2014.
Now the question: will this update cost any money? Currently the word out is that the update will be free for all Windows 8.1 users and it will be available through Windows Update, which is different from Windows 8.1, which was available from the Windows Store.
Previous rumors indicated the return of the Start menu, however these early screenshots of Windows 8.1 Update 1 doesn’t show any sign of the new menu. As such we’ll have to wait and see if at one point Microsoft introduces the new menu, which for what I know has to be before the release of Windows 8.2 (Threshold). Also Microsoft is rumored to make it easier for users to use Windows 8.1 with the keyboard and mouse in the coming update, but we might have to wait a little longer to see the Start menu.