ON THE SAME DAY that Microsoft's soon to be deprecated operating system Windows XP enters its final month of support, the firm has accidentally leaked the first update to Windows 8.1.
The finished version of the Windows 8.1 update has already been released to manufacturers (RTM), but an exploit was found that allowed users to download the update via Windows Update by simply changing a Windows 8.1 registry setting and rebooting.
The registry exploit has now been patched, but the update - which might or might not be the finished build - is circulating on filesharing websites, available to install at your own risk.
The Windows 8.1 update begins to address some of the longstanding complaints about Microsoft's flagship operating system with new features, including minimising and maximising Windows 8.1 apps to the desktop in an attempt to reduce the "bolted on" feel of Microsoft's Windows 8.1 Modern, or Metro, user interface.
Many of the changes in the Windows 8.1 update, which has yet to be released to the public, centre around placating users that do not have touchscreens. Those users are still most of the company's Windows user base and many of them have found the gesture controls in Windows 8.1 rather fiddly.
As users continue to reject Windows 8.1, the 12 year old Windows XP operating system that still holds nearly 30 percent of the market has reached its last month of support. From tomorrow, nag screens will begin to warn users that they must upgrade - and give Microsoft more money - or risk being unprotected from security vulnerabilities.
It is estimated that 98 percent of the world's cash machines still use Windows XP, which could make withdrawing money after this time next month interesting. µ
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