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Microsoft Releases Windows 8.1 August Update

Microsoft released the next set of updates for its controversial (to say the least) desktop operating system Windows 8.1. Microsoft released Windows 8.1 update 1 earlier this year, and now instead of continuing with a consistent naming convention (Microsoft has the worst naming conventions anyway), the company is calling this the “August Update.”

Windows Update

Microsoft August Update

It’s nothing impressive, mainly a lot of security and bug fixes for the OS, Office, and firmware updates for Surface tablets. Earlier it was speculated that this update would include a new Start menu that combines aspects of the new Modern UI and the traditional Start menu, but Microsoft decided to scrap that, and it will presumably be available in the next version of Windows, codenamed “Threshold” which is said to be launched early next year.

According to Microsoft, some of the features and improvements include the following:

    • Precision touchpad improvements – three new end-user settings have been added: Leave touch pad on when a mouse is connected; allow right-clicks on the touchpad; double-tap and drag.
    • Miracast Receive – exposes a set of Wi-Fi direct APIs for Independent Hardware Vendor (IHV) drivers or OEM drivers to develop Windows 32-bit applications that run on all supported x86-based or x64-based versions of Windows 8.1, enabling the computer as a Miracast receiver.
    • Minimizing login prompts for SharePoint Online – reduces the number of prompts with federated use in accessing SharePoint Online sites. If you select the “Keep me signed in” check box when you log on for the first time, you will not see prompts for successive access to that SharePoint Online site.

Microsoft also said in the blog post:

“Our goal is to continue to deliver improvements to Windows through regular updates in order to respond more quickly to customer and partner feedback.”

“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.”

If you have Windows set to automatically update, which is the default, you should be prompted to restart in the next couple of days. If you want it right away, go to PC Settings > Update and Recovery > Windows Update and install the updates.

If you’re getting an error, make sure to check our article: How to fix Windows Update not working.

Or you can download and install the updates manually

(KB2975719) for 64-bit

(KB2975719) for 32-bit

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10 Responses to Microsoft Releases Windows 8.1 August Update

  1. Ziggy August 17, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

    A quote from Softpedia “Microsoft has confirmed in a mailed statement that it’s aware of some of the problems experienced by users after installing August updates and is now working on a fix to address them.” Link: http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-Confirms-Windows-8-1-August-Update-Issues-455280.shtml

    Brian, do you have any further information about the issues reported by users of Win 8.1 after installing the August updates? So far on my laptop all seems to be going well…fingers crossed!!

    • Brian Burgess August 18, 2014 at 9:55 am #

      @Ziggy: I haven’t had any problems at all and have installed it on four different Windows 8.1 machines…Desktops, Laptops, and a tablet.

      • Ziggy August 18, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

        Thanks for your reply, Brian.That’s re-assuring, knowing that 4 of your pc’s have not been affected. So far no problems on my laptop running Win 8.1 either.

        Would be interested to hear what other people have to say and if they’re experiencing any problems with these August updates.

        • Brian Burgess August 20, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

          Also, from what I understand with everything, it affects Windows 7 Home Premium the most.

          So, it’s worth mentioning that I have installed the latest updates on one of my Win 7 Home Premium machines as well as a couple of Win 7 VMs … Ultimate and Home Premium and have had no issues on those either.

          • Ziggy August 20, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

            Same here, Brian! No problems with my two Win 7 Home Premium, 64 bit, machines.

            I just don’t get it but from what I understand it’s got to do with the font cache in system 32 and update kb2982791 as well as kb2970228. According to Softpedia, Microsoft is working on a fix.

            I’d be spitting bricks and chips if M/S’s supposed fix does damage to a machine that ain’t broke yet. When, oh when, will M/Soft get it right and lose the the tag of black Tuesday?

  2. Brian Burgess August 20, 2014 at 11:04 pm #

    Yeah, from what I’ve read it has to do with those updates you mention and the font cache system too.

    Microsoft is going to be on a monthly rapid release cycle for Windows 8.x and the up coming Windows 9 “Threshold” which is said to be coming out April of next year.

    If anyone does get the dreaded BSOD after installing the updates, I would think you’d be able to go into Safe Mode and rollback the updates in question.

    Microsoft pulled the updates, and currently they haven’t said anything about when they will be made available again.

    With this new aggressive rapid update release cycle, you can expect there to be some snags along the way. But overall, I think these types of botched updates are a low percentage overall considering the huge amount of updates release by Microsoft over the years.

    That is one reason I set Windows to automatically download the updates, but not install them. I usually wait a few days before manually installing them to see if there are any issues – especially for Optional updates.

  3. Ziggy August 21, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

    Check the latest development on botched August updates: http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-This-Month-s-Updates-Can-Lead-to-a-Horrible-User-Experience-455821.shtml

  4. Brian Burgess August 22, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

    Well, looks like the tech media — as it always does — blew the August updates issue on Windows 8.1 out of proportion. Apparently it only affected 0.01% of users:
    http://goo.gl/3cNKug

    I think more Windows 7 users had some problems though.

  5. Ziggy August 23, 2014 at 7:57 am #

    Thanks for that link, Brian. My Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit is still behaving (as is my Win 8.1) so I must fall into the 99.99% not affected.

    Thanks for the follow up too – always appreciated. Looks like the tech media has a problem with Microsoft per se. Down under we like to call it the “tall poppy syndrome.”

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