Windows 8.1 Update 2 likely hit RTM, could debut in July

Wzor claims Windows 8.1 Update 2 will be distributed during WPC next month, teases Win 9 beta

Leave it to Wzor to send the WinBlogosphere into an unproar, based on two short tweets. The (presumably) Russian blogger (individual? group?) has an unparalleled record for reliable Windows leaks. In the past hour, we have two new tweets to digest.

The first tweet goes like this:

Windows 8.1 Update 2 will be announced during Microsoft WPC 2014 July 13-17 Win 9 beta will be probably presented same time. by WZT

And the second:

JUNE 06/26/14, WINDOWS 8.1 UPDATE 2 RTM Build sign-OFF is more likely occurring now! by WZT

Permit me to translate: The second tweet says that Windows 8.1 Update 2 -- the mysterious follow-on to the ill-fated Update 1 -- has likely hit RTM. Reinforcing that observation, Wzor posted on RU-board that the RTM is being signed today and will be merged (made available internally?) tomorrow.

We know basically nothing about Windows 8.1 Update 2, but the general consensus is that it won't include the important pieces everyone has anticipated since Terry Myerson's demos at the Build conference. Update 2 probably won't have a desktop Start menu or a Modern-Mix style capability for running Metro apps inside resizable windows on the desktop. Instead, most bets emphasize plumbing changes in Update 2 and very little if anything on the UI side.

Based on the current rumors, you should anticipate that Update 2 will be distributed through the Windows Store and -- like Update 1 -- will become a prerequisite for receiving future Windows 8.1 updates. Looking in my (cloudy!) crystal ball, I would also guess that updates will continue to be available for Windows 8 users who haven't jumped down the 8.1 rabbit hole.

The first tweet says Update 2 will be announced -- not necessarily distributed -- during the Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C., taking place July 13 to 17. "For only US$2,195, you can purchase your all access pass to WPC 2014 and gain access to all that WPC has to offer." Such a deal for all of that and a forced upgrade, too!

The first tweet also says the Win9 beta will probably be presented at the WPC. But in spite of what you might read elsewhere, it does not say that a beta of Win9 will be made available at WPC. Although Wzor has been talking about a Windows 9 Developer Preview for some time, there's no direct confirmation from him/her/them/it that a Developer Preview will be released so soon. Indeed, there's no indication that Microsoft is even contemplating a Developer Preview.

That's the current status of the tea leaves. Resist the temptation to jump to conclusions, but Wzor's almost always right.

That rumor about Windows 8.1 Update 3? It's looking less and less likely, from what I hear. It's probably all heads down as we charge toward the first Windows 9 leaks.

This article, "Windows 8.1 Update 2 likely hit RTM, could debut in July," was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

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