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New Windows 8.1 GDR1 May Arrive in March

By - Source: ZDNet | B 23 comments

Unnamed sources are shaking up our Windows 8 roadmap.

Sources say that Microsoft is targeting March 11 for the release of Windows 8.1 GDR1. That falls on Patch Tuesday, meaning the update will be distributed through Windows Update. There's also talk that this update will be rather minor.

The same sources informed ZDNet that GDR1, or Update 1, will focus on reducing Windows 8.1's footprint both on the drive and in memory. This move is expected to allow the platform to run on cheaper, small tablets.

As previously reported, Windows 8.1 GDR1 may allow users to pin Metro-style (Windows Store) apps to the desktop's taskbar. Thumbnail previews will also be rendered on the desktop when a mouse cursor is placed over the taskbar icons. "Close" boxes are even expected to be added to the Metro apps.

If Microsoft does choose to launch GDR1 on March 11, that would be before Windows Phone 8.1 "Blue" arrives. Sources claim that the updated phone platform won't go RTM until just before the kickoff of Microsoft's BUILD convention, which starts April 2. Customers won't have access to Windows Phone 8.1 until the end of April at the earliest.

Given that Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 GDR1 will be released around the same time, there's currently no indication that new APIs will be available to bring the two platforms together. Instead, GDR1 will focus on making Windows 8.1 more useful in the business/enterprise sector.

There's also currently no sign of the "mini" Start Menu. This is expected to arrive in a possible GDR2 update in the fall (the first rumored Windows 9 window), or in Spring 2015 during the "Threshold" wave that includes Windows Phone 8.2 and the major Xbox One update.

Previously, we saw evidence that may suggest that the next version of Windows could support running Metro apps from the desktop.

As always, this is pure rumor and speculation. Perhaps we'll hear more about GDR1 within the next couple of weeks.

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  • -8 Hide
    stuffedtiger , January 27, 2014 1:46 PM
    I hope this update makes it so that I can use fastboot from my PC again.
  • 7 Hide
    Memnarchon , January 27, 2014 2:48 PM
    Last time I checked Windows 8.1 GDR1 was a mobile phone edition. Why so many people here confused it with the desktop versions? :/ 
  • 6 Hide
    jasonpwns , January 27, 2014 2:58 PM
    People seem to forget that Windows 8 is good. "It looks different so that automatically means it's bad!"
  • Display all 23 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    biggestinsect , January 27, 2014 3:05 PM
    Never had the Black Screen of Death but my guess would be if your getting it now the answer is probably no.
  • 4 Hide
    chesterman , January 27, 2014 3:33 PM
    what does gdr1 stands for?
  • 0 Hide
    airborne11b , January 27, 2014 4:02 PM
    I'm happy with windows 8, but I won't be updating to 8.1 until they properly address the mouse issues in games. Last I heard they only addressed the issues for a handful of games. As I test and play dozens of different games each month, I can't be bothered to fiddle with mouse issues on every indie game I play, or on big budget titles microsoft hasn't put out a fix for.

    I hope they come out with a better fix, or solve the issue with windows 9.
  • 6 Hide
    shafe88 , January 27, 2014 4:18 PM
    Quote:
    People seem to forget that Windows 8 is good. "It looks different so that automatically means it's bad!"
    It's not just that it looks bad, but it bad to use for the power user. More people wold switch to Win8 if they would of left the desktop part alone, and left people choose wehather at login to boot to metro or desktop. I hope microsoft gives people the option to enable aero themes.
  • 3 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , January 27, 2014 4:22 PM
    MA could fix all of the Windows 8 mess if they came out with a Windows 8.2 that addressed a lot of issues that windows 8.x still has with it. like no start menu, no way to disable metro, no aero glass option... it's 2 little things like that could turn the whole rep of windows 8 around, but ms won't they will just use those features as a selling point for windows 9. that's how ms typically works.
  • -6 Hide
    mpdugas , January 27, 2014 4:49 PM
    The W8 desktop IS a Metro application...
  • 2 Hide
    mpdugas , January 27, 2014 4:51 PM
    Quote:
    MA could fix all of the Windows 8 mess if they came out with a Windows 8.2 that addressed a lot of issues that windows 8.x still has with it. like no start menu, no way to disable metro, no aero glass option... it's 2 little things like that could turn the whole rep of windows 8 around, but ms won't they will just use those features as a selling point for windows 9. that's how ms typically works.
    My W8.1 has Aero...it's part of the OS which I enabled.
  • 3 Hide
    danwat1234 , January 27, 2014 10:24 PM
    Hope they update explorer.exe to support file paths longer than 255 characters. Irritating having to use Totalcommander when explorer should be able to do it. NTFS can handle 1000s of characters for the file path
  • 1 Hide
    airborne11b , January 28, 2014 12:00 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    People seem to forget that Windows 8 is good. "It looks different so that automatically means it's bad!"
    It's not just that it looks bad, but it bad to use for the power user. More people wold switch to Win8 if they would of left the desktop part alone, and left people choose wehather at login to boot to metro or desktop. I hope microsoft gives people the option to enable aero themes.


    I'm a power user and had no problem switching to windows 8.0. The metro UI is just a fancy Start Menu (an actual improvement even on the PC). It's basically just Windows 7 with a new start menu.

    If you like Windows 7, there's no real reason to "upgrade" to windows 8.

    But if you're coming from a WinXP or Vista system, there's no reason to not get windows 8 over 7.

  • 1 Hide
    itsmememo , January 28, 2014 2:16 AM
    I'm using Windows 8.1 Pro, I like the way it works specially because I can use my desktop and my apps at the same time, I hope this update will improve the experience to a 110%. :) , I can't wait to launch my favorite apps from the taskbar or desktop, Asphalt 8 Airborne :D 
  • 1 Hide
    dacquesta1 , January 28, 2014 8:02 AM
    man you people hate on windows 8.1 like crazy...have you actually used it or are you just going on some forum user comments about the OS?
  • 3 Hide
    itsmememo , January 28, 2014 8:22 AM
    Quote:
    man you people hate on windows 8.1 like crazy...have you actually used it or are you just going on some forum user comments about the OS?


    They're afraid to use something so simple and useful. :)  It still the same 7 with better start up and nice start menu.
  • 2 Hide
    dacquesta1 , January 28, 2014 10:29 AM
    I don't care for the metro interface but the os as a whole is much smoother and fluid than 7.
  • 1 Hide
    cunningj8 , January 28, 2014 1:10 PM
    I love it enough to stay with it but just the small things they could fix to make it better, Aero, Start Menu and the Mouse Lag
  • 1 Hide
    dacquesta1 , January 28, 2014 1:30 PM
    I haven't noticed any mouse lag myself, but aero needs to come back and you should not have to install classic shell to get the start menu back.
  • 1 Hide
    Soda-88 , January 28, 2014 5:56 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    People seem to forget that Windows 8 is good. "It looks different so that automatically means it's bad!"
    It's not just that it looks bad, but it bad to use for the power user. More people wold switch to Win8 if they would of left the desktop part alone, and left people choose wehather at login to boot to metro or desktop. I hope microsoft gives people the option to enable aero themes.
    Yeah all those new keyboard shortcuts Win8 brought are slowing down power users...All Windows 8 did is give the audacity to damn casuals to proclaim themselves a power user. Sitting in front of your PC for 12 or more hours a day playing games, reading news/forums, programming, modelling, editing, etc doesn't make you a power user. Power users don't whine about interface changes, they find their way around it (i.e. install ClassicShell/Start8 etc.) Not that they have any use of any part of start menu other than search box which is quite a bit better if you install Classic Shell even on Windows 7.
  • -1 Hide
    urbanman2004 , January 28, 2014 6:02 PM
    This wont do me any good since I have Win 8 on my desktop
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