updated 06:56 am EST, Tue March 4, 2014
Windows Update claimed to be in hands of manufacturers before April release
Microsoft has reportedly finalized the incoming update for Windows 8.1, ahead of a release in early April. The final version of Windows 8.1 Update 1 has apparently been signed-off for a Release to Manufacturing (RTM), namely to computer and notebook manufacturers to include in their products, with devices offering the update pre-installed likely to appear at the same time as the update's release to consumers.
The RTM update, reports The Verge, has yet to receive an official name, though it was apparently named as a "spring update" by the company at Mobile World Congress last week.
A previously-leaked screenshot of Windows 8.1 Update 1
The update is said to include a number of changes to the way Windows 8.1 works for users, including the option to boot to desktop instead of the Start Screen, new context menus for Live Tiles, and a simpler way for users to shut down the desktop. While the update ultimately is a concession to desktop users, with a significant proportion of changes designed to work with a mouse rather than a touchscreen, it will stop short of providing the previous Start Menu, though this could appear in Windows 9.
Manufacturers will also stand to benefit from the update, with the storage requirements being considerably lowered. The update will apparently lower the amount of required disk space to install and run Windows 8.1, and could lead to cheaper devices with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage running the software in the future.