MICROSOFT WILL RELEASE the second and final update for Windows 8.1 as part of Patch Tuesday in August, rumours have claimed.
Russian website PCportal.org.ru claims the update will be available from 12 August. It is expected to be the last major update to Windows 8.x as Microsoft prepares to churn out yet another version of the same old hairball operating system, filing Windows 8 next to Windows Vista in its catalogue of marketing disasters.
It is unlikely that Update 2 (U2) will herald the return of the Start Menu, as Microsoft will want to save that, as a most requested feature, for Windows 9, due next spring, as a statement of intent that the mistakes of the past have been remedied.
It was initially expected that U2 would have a Start Menu, but now it appears that it will reach end of life without one.
Aside from what it won't contain, no one is completely clear what U2 will actually bring, and Microsoft isn't saying.
It could be that we will see the ability to undock "Metro", or "Modern", style apps, and run them in floating desktop windows, but again that might be a treat reserved for Windows 9.
What we do know is that Microsoft, like other software developers, is trying to bring about convergence between the different aspects of its product lines. Earlier this year the company announced "Universal Apps", a "read once, render many" approach that will allow the same code to be repackaged for a variety of devices and screen sizes.
Microsoft recently launched a beta program for its productivity software, however no equivalent exists for the closed, proprietary world of Windows software, so at the moment all we can do is watch and wait for the notification to pop up on 12 August, if indeed it does. µ