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MS Rethinking Windows Store "Upgrades?"

Over the past few months, I’ve blogged repeatedly about issues related to installing (or rather, failing to install) the Windows 8.1 Update 1 for Windows 8.1. Windows experts such as Woody Leonhard (at InfoWorld) and Paul Thurrott (at his SuperSite for Windows) have dug into those details, and I blogged about them repeatedly myself here (especially in connection with KB 2919355). Recent rumors are divided, however, about whether or not the upcoming Windows 8.1 Update 2 (which most sources indicate should become available in August 2014) will be released through the Windows Store or through Windows Update.


Who knew that Windows Update would prove preferable to the Windows Store?

As some readers may be aware, Windows 8.1 itself was promulgated through the Windows Store, and there were plenty of issues with that delivery mechanism, too. While the majority of users were able to download and install the update from the Store without difficulty, an unspecified minority (estimates range from below 1% to as high as 2-3%) found themselves unable to get completely through the installation process. Some of that minority, in fact, found themselves stuck between the old version and the new, requiring a complete reinstall of Windows to regain access to their desktops and file systems. Ouch!

This morning, is reporting that MS is “testing Windows 8.1 upgrades for Windows 8 users via Windows Update.” In covering the same phenomenon, Paul Thurrott produces this memorable conclusion to his posting entitled: “Microsoft Works to Get Windows 8/RT Users updates to 8.1:”

Given the experience of the Store-based Windows 8.1 update, I suspect that’s the last time we’ll see Microsoft do such a thing. I expect all future Windows updates to ship via Windows Update, as God intended.

I’m not sure if distribution of Windows Updates is a matter for divine providence, but I have to agree that Windows updates, patches, and fixes seem to work better when delivered through the Windows Update service. Perhaps that means that rumors about the upcoming Windows 8.1 Update 2 distribution through the Windows Store will not pan out, much to everybody’s relief — including Mr. Thurrott’s, as well as mine!

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