A new report from PCBeta (via Softpedia) claims that Microsoft may actually release Windows 8.1 Update 3 in the first quarter of 2015 if it doesn’t look as if Microsoft will release Windows 9 by April 2015. We’ve already heard that the upcoming next-generation OS may not launch until Q2 2015. However, the report indicates that getting Windows 9 Threshold out to customers is a very high priority for Microsoft.
According to the report, Update 3 won’t bring anything major to the Windows 8.1 table save for preparing computers for Windows Threshold, which will supposedly feature a new activation system. Then again, there’s speculation that Update 3 will make some critical changes to Windows 8.1 devices that will make the transition to Windows Threshold a bit easier.
As reported last month, Windows 8.1 Update 2 could hit Windows Store sometime next month. This will be free to all Windows 8.1 Update 1 customers, and possibly free to Windows 8.1 customers who chose not to install Update 1. Haven’t even updated to Windows 8.1? Microsoft has a great tutorial for upgrading right here.
Let's review: Windows 8.1 Update 2 arriving next month; Windows 9 public beta in Q4 2014; Windows 9 full release in Q2 2015. Microsoft is expected to dump tons of money into the Windows 9 marketing campaign, indicating that Microsoft is feeling pretty confident that it doesn't have another Windows Vista/Windows 8 on its hands.
What's quite possible is that Microsoft may still release Windows 8.1 Update 3 for customers who do not install the Windows 9 public preview. The point of the beta is to get feedback from users and implement changes before final release. These changes to the core product could be dumped into a huge "patch" for Windows 9 and the Update 3 for Windows 8.1.
Be mindful that there’s a lot of speculation here.