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Windows 8.1 Update 2: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Windows 8.1 Update 2 is expected to become available on August 12. Learn what the update will contain, and what the update means for Windows users everywhere.


1. Windows 8.1 Update 2 Is Expected Next Week

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Neowin reports that sources have confirmed the release of Update 2 on August 12. The update is simply being referred to as “August Update” by Microsoft. It will be an optional update, and its features will definitely include some security updates, as it will be released as part of Microsoft’s monthly Patch Tuesday security updates.

ZDNet‘s Mary Jo Foley believes the update will have some minor cosmetic changes as well. Overall, this update is expected to be relatively minor in scope, but Microsoft could surprise us. The new Start menu is not expected to be featured in Update 2, but will instead debut in Windows Threshold.


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2. Windows 8 Use Is Sluggish

According to a report on Infoworld, Windows 8 and 8.1 use is down. According to Infoworld, “Windows 7 has grown by nearly twice the amount of Windows 8 in the past six months.”

The figures show that as XP use continues to dwindle, Windows 7 use is increasing. This is interesting, as Windows 8 and 8.1 are more recent versions of the OS.


3. Another Windows 8.1 Update Might Happen This Fall

Still haven’t come to grips with the first 8.1 update? The video above highlights all of the important improvements.

ZDNet‘s Mary Jo Foley, a highly reputable source for Windows news, says that it is unlike that we’ll see another update to Windows 8.1 in the fall. However, other sources say that a Fall update is not yet out of the question. Here’s what Mary Jo Foley predicts for 8.1:

“Microsoft’s original plan was to make this update a much bigger and more important release. The Windows team originally was aiming to make the new ‘mini’ Start Menu part of this second update, but scrapped that plan a couple of months ago, deciding instead to make the new Start Menu a feature of Windows ‘Threshold.’ Threshold, likely to be called Windows 9, is still sounding like a Spring 2015 deliverable.”


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4. Windows Phone 8.1 Is Also Getting an Update This Month

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It isn’t just Windows PCs and tablets that are getting an update this month. ZDNet notes that Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 will be getting a preview this week. Here’s what they say you can expect to see (and not see):

“The expected gesture-recognition technology that would have allowed users to hover over elements in Windows Phone 8.1 (rather than having to click on them) didn’t make it into Update 1. Microsoft officials won’t say when or even if they expect this technology to come to Windows Phone…

With Update 1, apps can be organized into folders on the Start screen. There’s a new live tile for the Windows Phone Store. Users can select multiple SMS messages, making text-message management easier…

Microsoft is turning on “consumer” VPN in this update, allowing users to connect to VPNs over Wi-Fi.”


5. Everyone Seems to Be Waiting For Threshold

Check out the Some Things Geek podcast above for more info on Threshold.

Paul Thurrott of Windows SuperSite has some dirt on the behind-the-scenes development of Windows 8.1 Update 2. Originally, it was going to be much more robust, and perhaps even introduce some entirely new features. However, he writes, the company seems to want to put all of its new features in the upcoming Threshold edition of Windows. Thurrott argues that “by aligning all of its best new features around a new Windows version, Microsoft can get past this Vista-like mistake and move on more easily.”


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