This morning, Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley reported that the Windows 8.1 Update 1 could land on March 11. Citing a “trusted” source, Foley notes that the date lines up with a Patch Tuesday, lending it credibility.
According to Foley’s source, Update 1 (we need a better name for it) could reduce memory and hard drive space requirements for Windows 8.1, allowing it to land — in her words — on “cheaper small tablets.” If true, the change could lower per-unit OEM costs, allowing for expanded margins for manufacturers.
Previously, the release date for Update 1 was thought to be further out, in April, perhaps landing around the same time as the Build conference.
The largest change expected to be seen in Windows 8.1 Update 1 is some crossover of Metro apps to the traditional desktop. Screenshots have cropped up online showing off the new feature. I’m not sure whether the feature can be implemented in a smooth fashion, but the idea is appealing nonetheless.
If we do see Update 1 in March, it will continue the new quick Microsoft release cadence for Windows. Windows Phone 8.1 should land in April, so we’ll see quite a bit new consumer-facing software from Microsoft in the current and following calendar quarters.
Foley’s sources have a tendency to be right, so we could get Update 1 in about a month and a half. Strap in.