Microsoft is giving Windows 8.1 holdouts a little more time to update their systems to the latest version of the company's flagship operating system.
Last month, coinciding with the Windows XP support cut-off date, Microsoft released the Windows 8.1 Spring Update, a week after the company distributed the code to developers at the Build conference in San Francisco. The update marked a return, of sorts, to Windows' desktop roots while maintaining the company's approach to touch-enabled computing.
Now, Microsoft warns that the deadline to download and apply the update is quickly running out.
Microsoft spokesperson Brandon LeBlanc announced in a May 12 blog post that the company has "decided to extend the requirement for our consumer customers to update their devices to the Windows 8.1 Update in order to receive security updates another 30 days to June 10th." In accordance to Microsoft's new software policy, consumers that miss the new deadline "will no longer receive updates," he added. Microsoft originally set a 30-day deadline.
Judging by public's reaction to the update, Microsoft has largely convinced users to make the jump. Microsoft believes that "the majority of people have received the update," said LeBlanc. The added time will presumably give the rest more time to install the first major update to Windows 8.1.
"We're confident that within the next month, the majority of the remaining customers who haven't updated their devices to the Windows 8.1 Update will be able to do so," said LeBlanc.
In short, Microsoft will no longer issue updates to Windows 8 and pre-update 8.1 systems, allowing the company to narrow its focus. It also enables the company to better align Windows with its new "mobile-first, cloud-first" strategy, which hinges largely on Agile software development practices and a rapid, cloud-like release cadence.
Understandably, Microsoft is giving enterprise customers even more time to install the update.
In response to feedback from the software giant's business customers, "we've decided to extend the timeframe for enterprise customers to deploy these new product updates from 30 to 120 days," said LeBlanc in a separate statement. "In order to receive future updates, all customers managing updates using WSUS, Windows Intune, or System Center Configuration Manager have until August 12th to apply the new updates."
Windows 8.1 Update features enhancements aimed at making keyboard and mouse users feel at home, even in the company's touch-optimized "modern" apps (formerly Metro). Now, hovering the cursor over the top area of a modern Windows app will display the familiar close and minimize controls.
Similarly, a task bar sprouts up from the bottom of the screen when the mouse cursor approaches the bottom of the screen in the modern user interface. Users can also now right-click on start-screen tiles to access context-sensitive options, like pinning the app to the task bar or uninstalling an app.