Only three days ago it was reported that Microsoft had finished its first major update for Windows 8.1, and although it is not set to be released until April, Microsoft appears to have leaked the updated operating system online. New pieces of software are often leaked early and made available on torrent Web sites, but this time, carefully using the Windows Update service can reportedly provide access to Update 1.
Microsoft confirmed during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that Update 1 would be a "spring" update for its current operating system. Some information regarding the changes that are present in Update 1 had already been made available, but images and detailed information were hard to come by prior to the leak.
What to Expect
Windows 8 had been criticized due to its emphasis on a touch-centric tile interface, which made it less than ideal for traditional desktops. Some of the major problems in Windows 8 were addressed in 8.1 and the latest update appears to target keyboard and mouse users even further.
Some of the Windows 8 applications that have been released are useful but until Update 1, non-touch users have been unable to access those apps on the desktop taskbar. This has forced users to navigate through the tile interface in order to have access to the Windows 8 apps that they are interested in using.
Along with providing a more efficient way for keyboard and mouse users to access applications, Update 1 reportedly includes new search and shutdown buttons as well as a variety of changes that make Windows 8 apps function in a way similar to traditional Windows applications. Among these changes is the ability to see the desktop taskbar above apps, which should make the previously full-screen programs look more like software that was released for previous versions of Windows.
For non-touch users, changing the size of Windows 8 programs or minimizing them is far more difficult than it is when using regular apps. Therefore, Microsoft has added the close, minimize, and snap buttons to all applications. Since Microsoft has reportedly recognized the problems that many users face with the new OS, it is not surprising that the Windows 8 user interface is being updated to appeal to keyboard and mouse users.
Microsoft may have accidentally allowed users to download Update 1 but gaining access to the update was not easy. When the availability of the new software was first discovered, users had to use a direct download link or implement changes to the Windows registry on their computers. Microsoft has already disabled both options, but the damage has been done.
Since many people took advantage of Microsoft's mistake, mirrors of the operating system have popped up on many torrent Web sites. While many people would usually have a hard time trusting a piece of software that they find on a torrent site, being able to trace the OS back to Microsoft has practically resulted in the update being completely available, even though it will not be released until this time next month.