Microsoft announced that the Windows 8.1 Update 1 that users have been anticipating will be released on Tuesday, April 8, 2014.

It will be released through the Windows Update tool as opposed to how Windows 8.1 was released through the Windows Store. Here’s what we know so far about the Windows 8.1 Update 1 and how you can prepare for its release.

What’s New in Windows 8.1 Update 1

Some key changes to Windows 8.1 in this update include:

  • The taskbar can now be visible on the Start Screen
  • The Start Screen will introduce a Shut Down button
  • New PCs running Windows 8.1 will boot directly to desktop as opposed to Start Screen
  • Search button featured added to Start Screen
  • Mouse and keyboard work more like Windows 7 now
  • More options for right-clicking tiles on Start Screen
  • Moving and grouping tiles on Start Screen is more intuitive
  • New apps from the Windows Store will be pinned to taskbar after installation
  • Apps view will now tell you when you’ve installed new apps
  • IE 11 is responsive to what type of device you’re using

To read more about the Windows 8.1 Update 1 release, check out this blog from Microsoft.

The Start Menu is Back… Soon

At day one of the 2014 Microsoft keynote conferences, the Start Menu will be added to Windows 8. Just not, yet. This is not your Windows Start Menu of the past. It takes the functionality of Windows 7 and integrates it with Windows 8 in some ways, hopefully bringing the best of both to users’ fingertips.

There is no word on when the Start Menu will be integrated into Windows 8, but it looks like the Windows 8.1 Update 1 will not include it at this time. A later update may be released that adds the functionality before another major update is released for the Windows 8.1 OS. However, it looks safe to say it will be before Windows 9 is released to consumers next year.

Preparing for the Windows 8.1 Update 1

As always, we recommend creating a system restore point, along with a backup of your files and folders. In the event that something goes wrong during the update or it doesn’t install properly, you’ll want to be able to rollback or restore your PC.

We also recommend downloading, installing and applying the update over a wired Internet connection rather than a wireless one. Wireless can make the update download slower than being wired, and you can avoid any connectivity issues when running Windows Update.


We’ll be covering the launch in its entirety here at TechNorms. We’re looking forward to Windows 8.1 and hope the functionality and subtle changes made to the Start Screen in particular help make users more comfortable with the OS.

We’re also excited to see the Start Menu be integrated into Windows 8, which should make it that much easier for new users to check it out and adapt.

Further Reading: First Look at the Windows 8.1 Update 1 Leak. Major Changes Come to the Start Screen and Taskbar