Microsoft Yanks Windows RT 8.1 Update “Temporarily” Following Discovery Of A “Situation”

If you are a Windows RT user looking forward to moving to Windows RT 8.1, you can’t — at least for a little while. Today Microsoft removed the update from the Windows Store following the discovery of a “situation” that was “affecting a limited number of users updating their Windows RT devices to Windows RT 8.1.”

So the code is now unavailable “temporarily” while Microsoft fixes whatever the heck is wrong. The issue appears to impact the booting cycle of some machines after they update.

Microsoft is likely pissed that it had to yank the update – it was hoping for a very smooth Windows 8.1 update cycle. Still, if the error had been present in the vanilla Windows 8.1 update, and not its RT flavor, the embarrassment would have been greatly magnified. Windows RT, of course, is a sliver when compared with Windows 8.

Aside from this error, the Windows 8.1 release cycle has been mostly smooth. There were reports of individual user problems, and a general meme was that the update process took longer than expected, but worked. Until today.

How many Windows RT users are there? I don’t know, but given that the majority are presumably Surface RT users, Microsoft is delaying those who both bought into its hardware efforts as well as its new software platform. That’s not a very good Saturday for the company.

Peter Bright of Ars Technica has the best analysis of the situation:

To call this embarrassing for Microsoft is something of an understatement. While x86 PCs have extraordinary diversity, in terms of hardware, software, and drivers—all things that can prevent straightforward upgrading—the Windows RT devices are extremely limited in this regard. Upgrading Windows RT tablets should be absolutely bulletproof. It’s very disappointing that it isn’t.


We’ll have preliminary market share numbers for Windows 8.1 upgrade cycle next week, though I don’t expect this specific bug to move those numbers too much.

Top Image Credit: Dell Inc.