Windows RT 8.1 Update 3 arrives in September with a new Start menu, but won’t include major changes

Microsoft plans to release Windows RT 8.1 Update 3 sometime in September with a new Start menu, but not major changes.

Start Menu for Windows 8.1

We know that Windows RT 8.1 devices won’t be upgraded to Windows 10, but we heard back in January from Microsoft that an update will arrive soon to bring a subset of Windows 10 features to Windows RT devices. We know this update as “Windows RT 8.1 Update 3”.

However, the company hasn’t shared any official details of what features will be available for these devices, which pretty much we’re specifically talking about the Surface RT, Surface 2, and the Nokia Lumia 2520.

Now, it’s been over half of a year and the software giant hasn’t announced any new information. Today, WinBeta reports that Microsoft is working to bring the Start menu to Windows RT with “Update 3”, but it won’t be the Start menu we’re seeing today in Windows 10. Instead, the company will be using the Start menu we have seen on early builds of Windows 10 Technical Preview.

According to the same report, the reason to use one of the early designs of the Start menu is because Windows 10 is using XAML and it uses a new set of API’s, which are not supported in Windows RT 8.1.

However, it’s not all bad, that previous version of the Start menu actually works pretty well and many users will feel comfortable using it with the keyboard and mouse or touch. In addition, users will have an option to choose between setting the Start menu as the default experience or the Start screen.

It’s also said that modern Windows 10 will continue to open in full-screen mode and Microsoft doesn’t have plans to make them windowed apps, as we see now in Windows 10. Furthermore, Tablet mode (Continuum) won’t be part of Windows RT 8.1 Update 3, because it’s a new feature that requires specific Windows 10 API’s and programming code.

Although, these are not a vast amount of changes coming to Windows RT that do not come close to align with Windows 10, they should be considered as welcome additions, as there are only a small amount of Windows RT users and Microsoft has already killed the platform and it’s replacing it with Windows 10 Mobile. However, the company is spending the time to bring a few modification to the operating system.

It all suggests that Microsoft is planning to release Windows RT 8.1 Update 3 sometime in September, which is around two months after the launch of Windows 10.

What do you think about the changes coming to Windows RT? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source WinBeta

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and