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Download Windows 8.1 Update 1 Early, If You Dare

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 46 comments

You can grab the update now if you're feeling adventurous.

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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  • 5 Hide
    red77star , March 7, 2014 6:26 AM
    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.
  • 2 Hide
    mgilbert , March 7, 2014 6:33 AM
    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.
  • -8 Hide
    red77star , March 7, 2014 6:37 AM
    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.
  • Display all 46 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    red77star , March 7, 2014 6:40 AM
    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!!!
  • 5 Hide
    ohim , March 7, 2014 6:52 AM
    Quote:
    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.


    What you are telling us is that 8.1 has great performance but you ditched that for the eye candy of the Windows 7`s interface.
  • 1 Hide
    jardows , March 7, 2014 7:12 AM
    Quote:" Sadly, Windows 7 is probably the last really great Microsoft OS for full computers. "Personally, I think DOS 6.22 was the last great Microsoft OS for computers. Everything else has just been clunky bloat.I find it interesting that with any articles dealing with Windows 8.x, no matter what the content of the articles, people feel compelled to comment about how they don't like the interface of Windows 8.x. How about commenting on the actual article for a change?Has anyone tried these updates? Do they enhance the Windows 8.1 experience, or are they just going to be normal updates we are used to? Is it worth jumping ahead of the line to get?
  • 2 Hide
    a490920 , March 7, 2014 7:19 AM
    don't worry,we won't and don't want to.
  • 2 Hide
    red77star , March 7, 2014 7:19 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    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.
    What you are telling us is that 8.1 has great performance but you ditched that for the eye candy of the Windows 7`s interface.
    Windows 7 performs as good as Windows 8, also i managed to setup Windows 7 to boot under UEFI making same boot time as with Windows 8. I wanted to give some credit to Windows 8 but compared to Windows 7 there is not any performance improvement that i noticed.
  • 0 Hide
    uralio , March 7, 2014 7:21 AM
    Just installed it - works good. But still Win8... :p . Got it from ngohq: http://www.ngohq.com/news/24606-windows-8-1-update-1-final.html
  • 3 Hide
    red77star , March 7, 2014 7:22 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:" Sadly, Windows 7 is probably the last really great Microsoft OS for full computers. "Personally, I think DOS 6.22 was the last great Microsoft OS for computers. Everything else has just been clunky bloat.I find it interesting that with any articles dealing with Windows 8.x, no matter what the content of the articles, people feel compelled to comment about how they don't like the interface of Windows 8.x. How about commenting on the actual article for a change?Has anyone tried these updates? Do they enhance the Windows 8.1 experience, or are they just going to be normal updates we are used to? Is it worth jumping ahead of the line to get?
    I tried it and there is nothing significant there. You get Metro version of disk utility. Things they did on Start Screen is that you get context menu on right click which is out of place and also power option in top right corner for quick shutdown or reboot. Overall, nothing special. I believe more changes are done under hood to bring Windows Phone and Windows platform together and supposedly Windows 8.1 Update 1 has smaller 'memory and disk print' which will enable OS to run on devices with 1GB of RAM and slow CPU which i doubt. Windows 8 is too heavy for mobile world.
  • -1 Hide
    fimbulvinter , March 7, 2014 7:26 AM
    If you can't figure out how to get to the desktop on boot then you should stick to consoles.
  • 4 Hide
    CaedenV , March 7, 2014 7:31 AM
    *presses win-key and types in a phrase on windows 7 box**sees list of programs and files with phrase in the name**presses win-key and types in a phrase on windows 8 box**sees list of programs and files with phrase in the name... and documents, and tagged photos, and other potentially related programs*Ya, the process is just so different, and the newer search results are just simply not as comprehensive or as useful red77star. I COMPLETELY see why a an intelligent human being would be completely offended by this.
  • 0 Hide
    bobbyd , March 7, 2014 7:40 AM
    I recently bought an 8.1 machine and agree with all the posters above. I also recently installed Start8. I would HIGHLY recommend this little program to anyone. Hard to even call it a program, its only 7 megabytes! This lil' guy made all the difference in the world to me. It honestly would make or would break my decision to keep 8.1 on this machine or find a windows 7 install disc. Worth a look! Especially if you are like me and the other posters that struggle with 8.1's interface. It's light, and you can try it out for 30 days for free. Like it that much? Only 5 bucks to purchase! I call that a bargain to get to use my OS again.Websitehttp://www.stardock.com/products/start8/Reviewhttp://blog.laptopmag.com/make-windows-8-like-windows-7
  • 1 Hide
    danwat1234 , March 7, 2014 7:53 AM
    Is there a download to upgrade from windows 8.0 to 8.1? I cannot update through the ModernUI store, I would like a standalone upgrade package. Then I can upgrade to 8.1 update 1.
  • -1 Hide
    ohim , March 7, 2014 7:57 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    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.
    What you are telling us is that 8.1 has great performance but you ditched that for the eye candy of the Windows 7`s interface.
    Windows 7 performs as good as Windows 8, also i managed to setup Windows 7 to boot under UEFI making same boot time as with Windows 8. I wanted to give some credit to Windows 8 but compared to Windows 7 there is not any performance improvement that i noticed.

    Beside video editing i also like to play games , Counter Strike GO / Battlefield 3/4 and few others, for me Windows 8 was a step up in gaming performance than 7.

    I don`t mind the "metro" start on the whole screen, people tend to say is not productive, well, tell me what`s the difference ? You have a full screen with all your apps in it vs a menu on the side with your apps, maybe even need to scroll to see some of them, all this while you can`t use your rest of the screen since your mouse is focused on the Start Menus after you click your desired app to start, both OS do the same thing , return to full desktop mode waiting to load the application, so , again, where`s the productive problem ? It looks different and not eye-candy, yes, is it counter-productive ? NO!
  • 1 Hide
    bobbyd , March 7, 2014 7:59 AM
    dan, if you have an oem version of win 8 then the answer is no. (unless you are into torrents.) if have a retail copy, then the answer is yes. http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57608376-285/how-to-download-the-official-microsoft-windows-8.1-iso/
  • 2 Hide
    JohnUSA , March 7, 2014 8:26 AM
    My strongest advice....do not do it.I did it and I am very sorry as it messed up my Windows 8.1.I hate all Windows 8 series as they are all shit and junk.I will go back to 7 and for Microsoft's sake I hope that the new upcoming Windows 9 better be great otherwise Microsoft is going to lose majority of their Windows customers.
  • 1 Hide
    danwat1234 , March 7, 2014 8:32 AM
    OK so I can upgrade from Windows 8.0 to 8.1 by downloading the 8.1 iso and installing, then I can upgrade to 8.1 update 1.Anybody try update1 with Start8 to see if there are any issues?
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , March 7, 2014 8:32 AM
    OK so I can upgrade from Windows 8.0 to 8.1 by downloading the 8.1 iso and installing, then I can upgrade to 8.1 update 1.Anybody try update1 with Start8 to see if there are any issues?
  • 0 Hide
    danwat1234 , March 7, 2014 8:32 AM
    OK so I can upgrade from Windows 8.0 to 8.1 by downloading the 8.1 iso and installing, then I can upgrade to 8.1 update 1.Anybody try update1 with Start8 to see if there are any issues?
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