Windows XP may be on its last official legs, and Windows 7 is still being supported. But if you’re using Windows 8.1 tomorrow, April 8th, marks an important milestone. For most users, Windows 8.1 Update will roll out tomorrow. MSDN and TechNet subscribers have had the bits for a week or so. But once the switch is flipped and you fire up your Windows 8.1 machine you’ll be prompted to download and install the update, unless you have automatic updates selected as a default. And make no mistake you shouldn’t hesitate too long to download and install the update.
It’s not just about the new features and improvements for mouse and keyboard users, although I’m sure they will be welcome by many. But without this new update you won’t be able to continue to update your Windows 8.1 machine starting next month, May 2014.
That’s right. This update is necessary if you’re already running Windows 8.1. Here’s what Microsoft’s Premier Field Engineering blog has to say about that:
Failure to install this Update will prevent Windows Update from patching your system with any future updates starting with Updates released in May 2014 (get busy!)
Well, that’s one way to increase adoption of an update. The update to Windows 8.1 is actually classified as a security update although it brings lots of other features along with it.
Note Windows 8 users don’t suffer the same deadline as Windows 8.1 users do. Windows 8 will still be supported through January 12, 2016.
But to get the update you will need to have Windows 8.1 running. If not, you’ll need to do a two-step upgrade. The new update is cumulative and rolls up all other updates that have been issued along the way since Windows 8.1 rolled out.
Other points mentioned on Microsoft’s Premier Field Engineering blog include:
- It will likely change your system’s current behavior:
- For starters, unless the device is a tablet, a system with this update will boot to the desktop by default
- You can still choose one way or another but I was surprised when I rebooted and was taken to my desktop instead of my Start screen
- See the chart further down in the post for a clear list of what default settings are changed and how
- It does NOT include the Start menu that you may have seen/heard about at the recent Build conference. That is some exciting near-future stuff, which demonstrates our on-going commitment to deliver on customer feedback (such as your comments on this very blog)
- It is defined as an “Important – Security update” in our Windows Updates framework
- It is a cumulative update to Windows 8.1 that includes all previously released security and non-security updates
- It is a required update to keep your Windows 8.1 device current
- Failure to install this Update will prevent Windows Update from patching your system with any future updates starting with Updates released in May 2014 (get busy!)
- Windows 8.1 is a prerequisite (vs Windows 8 RTM)
- Windows 8.1 media/WIMs/TechNet ISOs/Store bits/etc will be slipstreamed with this Update in the near term
- KB2919442 is a pre-requisite update – released in March 2014 – you’ll need this before 2919355 will be recognized
- Additional info can be found in the KB – which obviously, you should read
- The Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) has been updated to accommodate the changes to Windows with this Update
To get the Update, make sure you are running Windows 8.1 and then hit Windows Update or the Windows Download Center.