Excitement for Windows 8.1 Update 1, the often-rumored software update that contains quality of life improvements for keyboard and mouse lovers, reached an all-time high today. At least, it would have had all the talk about the update not centered on its impending “delay.”
According to ZDNet, Microsoft is now planning to launch the Windows 8.1 Update in early April, more specifically, April 8th. Until now rumors had indicated that Microsoft would begin deploying the update to Windows 8.1 users as part of a free download on March 11th. Whether Microsoft will use the Windows Update system that it uses to deploy bug fixes or make the update available as an optional download through the Windows Store remains unclear.
Windows 8.1 Update 1 is the same version of Windows that leaks have detailed since this past December. Late last week reports indicated that Microsoft would use the update to disable the new Start Screen environment by default.
Since then software leaks to the web and people who’ve spoke with ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley have said that enabling the Desktop by default is not in Microsoft’s plans. Instead, these sources say that Microsoft simply plans to enable the Desktop by default on new computers that don’t come equipped with a touchscreen. Either move would likely be cause for celebration for desktop and notebook users.
Detractors of Microsoft’s strategy for creating one interface and app framework to work on all sorts of devices have long complained that enabling the Start Screen and forcing users to learn a new interface isn’t in user’s best interest.
Leaked versions of Windows 8.1 Update 1 do include contextual menus for mouse and keyboard users in the Start Screen, a new power button in plain sight and the option to close apps by simply clicking a close button in the top-right corner of each app.
While some reports indicate this new launch day is a delay for the update, it’s worth noting that Microsoft hasn’t officially acknowledged that Windows 8.1 Update 1 is on its way all. Only unofficial leaks and information from users who spoke anonymously provided March 11th as a launch date.