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Windows 8.1 Update 2 Coming Soon: No Big Changes Afoot

Those who follow the Windows OS rumor mill have learned over the past few years that when Russian “leaker” WZOR offers up information — an identity carefully enough shrouded that nobody’s sure whether it’s a single individual or a group of like-minded Windows-heads — it’s usually worth checking out, and often turns out to be correct.


According to an archetypal “usually reliable source,” Windows 8.1 Update 2 will make its debut here in mid-July.

As reported in Woody Leonhard’s blog post for Infoworld yesterday (6/26/2014) entitled “Windows 8.1 Update 2 likely hit RTM, could debut in July,” WZOR tweeted two intriguing rumors about the next upcoming update to the current Windows desktop OS:

1. The update will be announced at the upcoming Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) to be held in Washington DC from July 13-17
2. The official sign-off for the Windows 8.1 Update 2 release to manufacturing (RTM) build has reached (or is reaching) final, frozen status some time this week, possibly even yesterday (6/27) or today (6/28)

It’s not unusual for information about impending MS releases to make their way out the door in advance of Microsoft’s own carefully orchestrated PR maneuvers and official announcements. What is unusual about Windows 8.1 Update 2 is that we still know very little about what’s inside the update package, as it were. Even Woody can only speculate on its contents, and repeat shared beliefs about the upcoming release, which include the following recitations:

1. The Start menu is highly unlikely to make its return in this release, triumphant or otherwise
2. There probably won’t be a mechanism to run Modern UI apps in desktop Windows (a la Stardock’s ModernMix)
3. The update will most likely be available through the Windows Store rather than via Windows Update
4. After some delay period occurs (2-3 months, if the Update 1 history is any guide), this Update will be mandatory for those wishing to receive further future updates
5. Woody speculates further that “…most bets emphasize plumbing changes in Update 2 and very little if anything on the UI side” to which I’ll add the observation that key components in earlier Service Pack releases invariably included update roll-ups from past patches and fixes: something similar is highly likely to be part of Update 2 as well

Other than that, we don’t know much. But at least, we won’t have to wait too much longer (about three weeks from today) before these rumors can be confirmed, corrected, or denied by the reality presented at WPC — or not, as the case may be. Stay tuned!

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