Microsoft has just wrapped up development for the first major update for Windows 8.1, but it’s not clear if it will be called a service pack. According to The Verge, the Redmond company signed off on the final version of the update, upgrading its status to RTM (release to manufacturing).
Most of the changes are designed to make life easier on keyboard and mouse users – for once. One feature will be a new title bar at the top of Windows 8 apps with the option to minimize, close, or snap apps. A Shutdown button is also being added to the Start Screen for non-touch devices, with a new search button added for all devices.
Windows will also by default boot to the desktop mode instead of the tiled Start Screen, only on non-touch devices. Early test builds also changed the default apps associated with audio files and photos, allowing desktop applications to open the files if boot-to-desktop is automatically enabled. It’s not yet clear if that modification has made its way into the RTM version of Windows 8.1 Update 1.
Microsoft is also changing the amount of disk space that Windows 8.1 uses. Windows 8.1 Update 1 will let manufacturers build machines with just 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, thus lowering the pricing and making their tablets more competitive.
April 8th is the set date for release of Windows 8.1 Update 1, also the very day Microsoft finally lays Windows XP to rest.