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New Windows 8.1 GDR1 May Arrive in March

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.

  • stuffedtiger
    I hope this update makes it so that I can use fastboot from my PC again.
    Reply
  • Memnarchon
    Last time I checked Windows 8.1 GDR1 was a mobile phone edition. Why so many people here confused it with the desktop versions? :/
    Reply
  • jasonpwns
    People seem to forget that Windows 8 is good. "It looks different so that automatically means it's bad!"
    Reply
  • biggestinsect
    Never had the Black Screen of Death but my guess would be if your getting it now the answer is probably no.
    Reply
  • chesterman
    what does gdr1 stands for?
    Reply
  • airborne11b
    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.
    Reply
  • shafe88
    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.
    Reply
  • SteelCity1981
    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.
    Reply
  • mpdugas
    The W8 desktop IS a Metro application...
    Reply
  • mpdugas
    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.
    Reply