Microsoft’s updated Windows 10 FAQ confirm that Windows 8.1 RT Update 3 will release in September bridging a number of improvements to the now dead operating system. As we all know by now, Windows 8.1 RT isn’t upgradable to Windows 10, but as we have heard back in July, the software maker is planning to release a minor update, which will bring a subset of Windows 10 features to the operating system, including a new Start menu and improvements to the Lock screen.
While there aren’t many users currently using Windows RT, which is one of the reasons why Microsoft has stopped the development, these are welcome changes we’re expecting to see in devices, such as Surface RT, Surface 2, and the Nokia Lumia 2520 sometime in September.
The Windows 10 FAQ page notes:
“If you’re running Windows RT, your device won’t upgrade to Windows 10. We will have an update available in September 2015 that will improve the Start menu and lock screen. Check Windows Update on your Windows RT device to make sure it is ready to download the update when available.”
Windows 10 packs a number of new features over Windows 8.1, including Tablet mode, which allows users with 2-in-1 devices to use a small Start menu when using a keyboard and mouse and a full screen Start menu experience when using a touch-enabled device. However, such functionally is highly unlikely that will be part of Windows 8.1 RT Update 3.
Instead the software maker will be rolling out a version of the Start menu that we have seen on early builds of Windows 10 Insider Preview. The reason is because the new Start menu found in the final version of Windows 10 is built using XAML and new API’s that are only found in the new version of the operating system.
This is how the new Start menu for Windows RT might look like:
However there are still a few unclear specifics, such as if the company is planning to offer the same windowed app experience found in Windows 10 or apps will simply open in full screen mode, and what other improvements will be part of the update.
Nevertheless, these a welcome additions considering that Microsoft has already stopped the development of Windows 8.1 RT, but it’s still planning to release new features.