Microsoft wasn’t joking about “rapid release” cycles. The company is reportedly targeting a March 11 release date for Windows 8.1 Update 1, which would add a few new features and enhancements.
The well-connected Mary Jo Foley has the full scoop at ZDNet, but here are the highlights:
- Memory and disk space requirements will reportedly be reduced, paving the way for even cheaper Windows tablets.
- Foley echoes earlier reports of desktop shortcuts and close boxes (that is, an “X” in the upper right-hand corner) for modern Windows apps.
- The return of the classic Start menu apparently won’t be part of the update, but could arrive in a second update within the next 12 months.
- A somewhat-related Windows Phone 8.1 update could arrive in late April.
If Foley’s trusted source is correct, Update 1 would arrive less than five months after Windows 8.1. That’s a big change for Microsoft, which traditionally has released major Windows versions every few years or so, with one or two minor “Service Pack” updates in between. The fast updates are good news for those who are unsatisfied with the state of Windows, even if some features in the pipeline don’t sound appealing.