Windows 8.1 August Update – What’s New

Microsoft provides more info on the changes it made to this new update

Yesterday Microsoft released the eagerly-anticipated Windows 8.1 August Update, but as compared to what people expected, this new pack of improvements only brings small refinements and a couple of new options.

Unfortunately for those who wanted to see the Start menu available in this update, no such feature is being offered right now, as Microsoft is most likely focusing more on Windows 9 these days.

As we’ve reported last week, Windows 8.1 August Update was only supposed to bring three different improvements concerning precision touchpads, Miracast features, and SharePoint Online.

Now thanks to a detailed description of the KB2975719 patch, we finally have more information on what’s included in the August Update, which can be installed on Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2.

We’ve selected all release notes and you can read them below:

• Settings changes for Update and Recovery - This feature introduces new information in the Windows Update Settings, and gives you more information on how up to date your systems are by displaying the most recent check for updates and the last date updates were installed.

• Precision touchpad improvements - This feature adds the following three end-user settings to control the behavior of precision touchpad devices (under the Mouse and touchpad menu in PC Settings):

- Leave touchpad on when a mouse is connected

- Allow right-clicks on the touchpad

- Double-tap and drag

• Ruble symbol update - This feature adds new Ruble currency support for input and rendering.

• Out-of-date ActiveX control blocking

• Wi-Fi Direct APIs for Discoverability - new set of APIs for Independent Hardware Vendors (IHV) or computer OEMs to develop Windows-based applications on all supported x86-based and x64-based versions of Windows 8.1. This enables IHVs and OEMs to build a Miracast receiver on Windows.

• Video capture metadata for MP4 - adds capability for developers to read and write the "Date taken" and GPS data on MP4 files by using Windows Runtime and Win32 APIs.

• Minimizing Logon Prompts for Microsoft SharePoint Online - reduces the number of prompts with federated use in accessing SharePoint Online sites. If you select the "Keep me signed in" check box when you log on for the first time, you will not see prompts for successive access attempts to that SharePoint Online site.

As you can see, there are no big improvements for end users, but Microsoft is recommending everyone to install this. The update is not mandatory, so you can decide whether you really need it or not by reading the release notes above and determining if any of these improvements can improve performance of your device.

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