Windows 8.1 will definitely get a second update sometime this year as Microsoft already confirmed it, but there are absolutely no other details on timing, other than the fact that it's expected to see daylight by year-end.
Some previous reports indicated that Windows 8.1 Update (or Windows 8.2 in case Microsoft is picking a completely different name for the upcoming release) could hit the shelves in August, but some other leaks coming via unofficial channels pointed out that the debut might actually take place one month later.
As WinBeta is reporting, details provided by Windows leakers until now suggested that Windows 8.1 Update 2 might launch in September, which perfectly matches the information we had before.
If the September launch date is right, we could get Windows 8.1 Update 2 on September 9, the day when Microsoft is releasing its Patch Tuesday fixes that month. As in the case of Windows 8.1 Update, all improvements are delivered via Windows Update, so the September 2014 Patch Tuesday rollout could also bring us a completely new OS version.
The second Windows 8.1 update could bring quite a lot of features, including a brand new Start menu supposed to make Microsoft's modern operating system easier to use on desktop computers.
Microsoft has already confirmed that it's bringing back the Start menu in a future Windows update, along with options that would allow users to launch Metro apps in their dedicated windows right on the desktop.
“I previewed some work we are doing for the next iteration of Windows, which builds on the journey we began with Windows 8 just over a year ago as well as the releases we’ve done since then. In particular, I showed some early thinking on how the user experience in Windows will evolve in a way that will help developers’ apps make their way to users across devices and form factors,” head of the OS unit at Microsoft Terry Myerson said after the BUILD developer conference in San Francisco last month when the company confirmed the return of the Start menu.
Microsoft says that although it's bringing back the Start menu, it's not actually trying to fix anything in its operating system, but to improve it in a way that would allow the product to better address consumers' needs. The Start menu will only be available on desktop computers, while touch devices might stick to the same configuration available in Windows 8.1 right now.