Windows 8.1 Update 1 is now available for download, but Microsoft is yet to officially reveal the update, preferring instead to remain tight-lipped and let users get the pack using all sorts of tricks.
It turns out, however, that Redmond itself has published Update 1 on its servers and although the company hasn’t revealed the download links publicly, the guys over at MyDigitalLife forums have spotted them and published them online.
Since Microsoft is serving the downloads, these are most likely the official packages that are expected to be delivered to users in early April via Windows Update. Of course, you are strongly recommended to back up your existing Windows 8.1 installation and only then start downloading.
As you can see for yourselves, Microsoft has also debuted several prerequisites, which means that an existing Windows 8.1 installation needs to be prepared for the new update with the help of several patches. A fully up-to-date Windows 8.1 version is also required, so make sure you install all previous rollups and patches released by Microsoft in the last few months.
Update 1 seems to be available for both x86 and x64 devices, so you can download it no matter your system configuration, just check twice before getting any patch.
Beginners and those who aren’t willing to test these download links are recommended to wait until early April when Microsoft is expected to launch Update 1 via Windows Update and thus make the installation a lot easier for everyone.
According to people familiar with the matter, Windows 8.1 Update 1 is expected to debut on MSDN in early April, just before the beginning of the BUILD 2014 developer conference, while consumer should get it on April 8 when the software giant rolls out Patch Tuesday fixes.
Windows 8.1 Update 1 is obviously offered as a free update for all Windows 8.1 users and brings quite a lot of improvements for desktop users.
The most noticeable update is the addition of options that allow you to pin Metro apps to the desktop and thus launch them without actually opening the Start screen. This is just the beginning of a much more important change that will take place in Windows 9 and would allow users to run Metro apps right on the desktop, which means that the company is working to mix the touch and non-touch working environments.
Windows 9 is expected to debut in April 2015, with Microsoft to share more on the project at BUILD.
Update: Microsoft has removed the download links from the web, but most of them can of course be found on file-sharing websites out there.