Download Windows 8.1 Update 1 Early, If You Dare

Unnamed sources said earlier this week that Windows 8.1 Update 1 has gone RTM, or Release to Manufacturing. These sources also said that Microsoft has begun sharing Update 1 with its partners and PC makers. Russian leaker WZor added that the final update to Update 1 was compiled on February 21.

As it stands now, there's no official launch date for Update 1, although a number of reports claim it will be on the first day of BUILD 2014, or sometime in April after the conference. Either way, the update is coming soon, and for some, it's already here.

Thanks to Microsoft's own Windows Update service, links to the final version of the Update 1 download were discovered. Microsoft's links are posted on the MyDigitalLife forum for anyone to download, and consist of six files total. Downloaders must grab the files that match their hardware (x86, x64, ARM), and they must download the files in the listed order.

For those that suspect foul play, there's a way to tweak the registry so that Windows Update actually lists the update now. Several system patches are required to be installed first before the big Update 1 can be installed on the system.

Naturally we recommend that you wait for Microsoft to release Update 1 next month. It's probably safe to say that the update isn't worth causing software and hardware problems. Of course, the DIY crowd may take this as a challenge, and will give these methods a try. Nevertheless, be careful.

For Microsoft, seemingly most of the work that went into the update were to address some of the issues traditional desktop users are facing. Early leaks revealed that the company will allow users to pin Metro apps to the taskbar. There will also be a new search button for all machines, and a shutdown button on the Start screen for non-touch machines.

Leaks have also indicated that Microsoft has lowered the system requirements in Update 1, allowing device makers to create Windows 8.1 tablets with only 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. They also claim that Microsoft is trying to reduce Windows 8.1's footprint on the hard drive, which points right back to the new lowered space on mobile devices.

Additional leaks have shown that Windows 8.1 will automatically bypass the Start screen and boot into desktop by default if installed on a device that doesn't have a touch screen. Otherwise touch-based devices will boot into the Start screen unless the user manually sets the bypass.

UPDATE: Sources are reporting that Microsoft has caught on to the registry trick and is blocking some of the required updates, but installing the service packs directly still works, according to our own Don Woligroski's efforts.

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  • red77star
    I returned back to Windows 7 after a year of dealing with Windows 8 and 8.1. Windows 8.1 has great performance but just terrible UI which makes OS unusable. Looks too flat and ugly, messes up my eyes. After going back to Windows 7 what a fresh nice look that is and plus looks more modern than Windows 8. Also had problems with games under Windows 8.1. Skyrim suffered from lag unless runs in compatibility mode which was no no to me. Overall, hopefully Windows 9 follows where MS stopped with Windows 7 otherwise i don't see myself upgrading to future Windows releases.
    5
  • red77star
    I returned back to Windows 7 after a year of dealing with Windows 8 and 8.1. Windows 8.1 has great performance but just terrible UI which makes OS unusable. Looks too flat and ugly, messes up my eyes. After going back to Windows 7 what a fresh nice look that is and plus looks more modern than Windows 8. Also had problems with games under Windows 8.1. Skyrim suffered from lag unless runs in compatibility mode which was no no to me. Overall, hopefully Windows 9 follows where MS stopped with Windows 7 otherwise i don't see myself upgrading to future Windows releases.
    -8
  • red77star
    Quote:
    Red Star, the changes to the UI in Windows 8.1 was done so it would work on tablets and phones. In other words, they dumbed it down. Microsoft is insisting on having one operating system for phones, tablets, and full computers, which means it will work on all those devices, but not very well on any of them. There are just too many compromises involved. Sadly, Windows 7 is probably the last really great Microsoft OS for full computers. From here out, users of real computers will have to deal with the compromises and flat, ugly UI required for phones.
    I know what you are saying, i am developer and i just couldn't deal with Windows 8. I can pin so much on taskbar to avoid Start Screen but every time i have to search for something it just hits me with that Start Screen, completely unproductive. I did use windows key + s which brings sidebar search but it is still annoying and it is not same as with Windows 7 and searching in start menu. I did try Start8, paid for it but had lags in some games which work fine under Windows 7 and flat looking Windows 8 was just killing my eyes. Aero is the best thing MS came up with and they just removed it!!!
    1