Based on my sources, last week I told you about how the update coming for Windows 8.1 (and Windows Server 2012 R2) in August is just a ho-hum update. I also noted that Microsoft would be further defining the contents of the update early this week.
Today, Microsoft has fulfilled the promise and is providing information on what to expect in next week's update for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
Per Microsoft's announcement, here's some of the new features that the August update will provide:
- 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.
The August update will deliver like any other normal update on August 12, through WU and WSUS and include the normal security and performance enhancements. The August update seems to show that Microsoft will stop delivering huge, more feature-rich updates for Windows 8.1, and also shows that it's possible, as Paul has stated, that Microsoft is more intent now in delivering Windows 9 than revamping Windows 8.x to meet customer needs.
Windows Server 2012 R2 will also receive an August update, but no new features will be coming – just bug fixes for performance and reliability.
Interestingly, in Microsoft's announcement blog, the company attempts to rename "Patch Tuesday" to "Update Tuesday." I guess it sounds a bit more benign that way, but I really don't believe it will catch on.