As announced earlier this year, Microsoft is working on a second Windows 8.1 update that would continue the company's efforts to improve its modern platform and according to some new rumors, Redmond is ready to push Update 2 to RTM.
The news comes via Russian group WZor, who has had a pretty good track on Windows leaks until now, whose post was spotted by Microsoft News on a Russian forum. WZor reportedly said that Windows 8.1 Update 2 was on track to reach RTM this week, although the company hasn't announced anything on this matter.
“At this time I cannot give an exact date of signing of the RTM. Although next week (23 – 27 June) a very significant event is planned inside Microsoft. I’m not sure what will happen, but most likely the first RTM-Escrow build will be signed off,” WZor's post in Russian and translated with Google Translate reads.
Terry Myerson, head of the operating system division at Microsoft, said at the BUILD 2014 developer conference that Redmond is working to make some pretty big changes to its modern platform, planning to add not only a Start menu, but also options to launch Metro apps in their own dedicated windows right on the desktop.
This isn't necessarily a way to go in reverse, Myerson explained, but rather a method that could help the company address people's needs and tweak the operating system in such a way that it better serves its purpose of helping everyone get things done fast and easily.
“We set out to do this is a thoughtful way – one where we could enable more productivity for customers working in desktop mode, while building smart bridges to the new modern user experience and ensuring customers can get access to all your great apps in the Windows Store no matter where they are in the experience, or which device type they’re on,” Myerson explained.
But according to the latest rumors on the matter, Microsoft might not bring back the Start menu in Windows 8.1 Update 2.
Sources close to the development process said that the Start menu return might be delayed until early 2015 when the company might introduce two new Windows versions, namely Windows 8.1 Update 3 and Windows 9. Nothing is confirmed so far, but such a scenario seems very likely given the fact that Microsoft hasn't provided any update on the return of the Start menu since April.
As far as the debut of Windows 8.1 Update 2 is concerned, it could take place in August or September. The update will be offered free of charge to all Windows 8.1 users, but it's not yet clear whether the company plans to offer it via Windows Update or through the Windows Store.