Microsoft says there will be no major Windows 8.1 Update 2 and future upgrades will be incrementally delivered alongside security fixes on Patch Tuesday
Microsoft has confirmed there will be no ‘Windows 8.1 Update 2’ and says that all future upgrades to the operating system will be incremental rather than as part of one massive package.
New features and fixes will instead be delivered via Windows Update, or Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), every month alongside the regular security updates released on ‘Patch Tuesday’.
“Rather than waiting for months and bundling together a bunch of improvements into a larger update as we did for the Windows 8.1 Update, customers can expect that we’ll use our already existing monthly update process to deliver more frequent improvements along with the security updates normally provided as part of ‘Update Tuesday’,” explained Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc in a blog post.
Windows 8.1 Update 2
This change is a drastic one for Microsoft, which has traditionally released large service packs of new features for its operating systems, making life easier for admins. The new model is similair to the rapid release schedule of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or even iOS.
Two major updates to Windows 8 have been released since the operating system was launched in late 2012 – Windows 8.1 last year and Windows 8.1 Update in April. Some have suggested that this means there will be no significant update to the platform until Windows 9 is released.
Among the new features to be released with the first incremental update on 12 August are Miracast support, fewer login prompts for SharePoint online and new touchpad settings that let users right-click, double tap and drag, as well as the ability to use the touchpad even when an external mouse is connected.
Nine new security updates will also be released on Tuesday, two of which are critical, and are the first set that requires consumer and business users to be running Windows 8.1 Update.
“The most critical patch is Bulletin #1 which affects all versions of Internet Explorer (IE), all the way from IE 6 to the newest IE 11 on Windows 8.1 and RT. Since browsers are the attackers favorite targets, this patch should be top of your list,” explains Wolfgang Kandek, CTO of Qualys. “An attacker would exploit this vulnerability on your users through a malicious webpage.
“These pages can be on sites that are either set up specifically for this purpose, requiring him or her to attract your users to the site or are on sites that are already under control of the attacker with an established user community, such as blogs and forums.
“Bulletin #2 is a critical update for Windows and affects Windows 7 and Windows 8, plus the Media Center TV pack for Vista. I believe it must be address bugs in the graphics processing pipeline, most likely in an online video component. An attacker would have to trick you into opening a file. Microsoft’s rating of “critical” indicates that your users can trigger this bug by simply surfing to a malicious webpage, so no special interaction is required.”
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