Windows 8 Gets Last-Minute Touch Up - InformationWeek
Software // Operating Systems
10:04 AM

Windows 8 Gets Last-Minute Touch Up

Battery life, video playback, and app performance improve in new update, the first to arrive through Microsoft's streamlined patch process.

8 Key Differences Between Windows 8 And Windows RT
8 Key Differences Between Windows 8 And Windows RT
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Microsoft said it has made several enhancements to Windows 8 that boost the new operating system's overall performance. The company added that it has adopted a new update process that will result in faster rollouts of future patches.

The tweaks, which can be downloaded immediately through Windows Update, include enhancements designed to boost battery life, improve audio and video playback, jumpstart app and Start screen performance, and enhance application and driver compatibility with Windows 8.

Microsoft did not provide full details about how the updates work. The company did, however, outline new procedures for testing and distributing updates so that they get to users more quickly.

With past versions of Windows, Microsoft would test updates with each PC maker individually before making them generally available in a service pack. "We would often create dozens of changes for each OEM," said Windows group president Steven Sinofsky, in a blog post.

Beginning with Windows 8, Microsoft has developed procedures that will allow it to roll out major updates universally, without having to test them on individual PC models.

[ Microsoft will release two versions of its new OS. See Windows 8, RT Confusion: Can Microsoft Beat It? ]

"During the final months of Windows 8 we challenged ourselves to create the tools and processes to be able to deliver these 'post-RTM' updates sooner than a service pack," said Sinofsky. "By developing better test automation and test coverage tools we are happy to say that Windows 8 will be totally up to date for all customers starting at General Availability."

MSDN and enterprise customers should have received the most recent updates on Oct. 9 through Windows Update "following the standard cadence for Windows Updates on the second Tuesday of each month," Sinofsky wrote. "We think this new pace of delivering high-quality updates to Windows will be a welcome enhancement for all our customers."

Windows 8 represents the most radical redesign of Windows since Windows 95, which introduced familiar features like the Start button and Task Bar. In Win8, Start is replaced by a home screen featuring Live Tiles, from which users can access apps and information services.

Microsoft plans to formally release Windows 8 at a launch event in New York City on Oct. 26. It will promote the new operating system through, among other things, seasonal pop-up stores in high-profile locations like New York City's Times Square and the Shops at North Bridge in Chicago, as well as 32 other locations.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll