Windows guru Paul Thurrott has Tweeted that Windows 8.1 Update 1 is set for general release on the 8th April 2014. This is the same day as extended support for Microsoft Windows XP and Office 2003 ends. Thurrott also indicated that MSDN subscribers will get access to the OS update, nearly a week earlier, on the 2nd April.
April 8th happens to be a 'Patch Tuesday', as Neowin reminds us. Non MSDN folk will be notified and receive the update though the Windows Update mechanism. We heard last weekend from Microsoft's Joe Belfiore that the Windows 8.1 Update 1 was "coming in spring," but it's good to have a proper date from such a well regarded source as Thurrott.
For an update-to-a-0.1-update there are quite a lot of tweaks and improvements on the way to the Windows OS. As we mentioned when covering Belfiore's MWC presentation, the main user-visible improvements will come in the improvements to the non-touch experience of Windows 8 – for those of use that mainly interact with our PCs using mouse and keyboard. On your tiled Start Screen your right mouse button will be much more useful and it's good to see the quick access to power and search options on the upper right of the screen. The update will "keep our highly satisfying touch experience intact, but that make the UI more familiar and more convenient for users with mouse/keyboard," said Belfiore.
Other improvements on the way in Windows 8.1 Update 1 include; better low-end hardware support, education and enterprise improvements and easy task launching and switching via the task bar.
Windows Phone 8.1 was also mentioned at last weekend's Microsoft presentation at MWC but we are still waiting for details of that release date. We have previously reported on leaked screenshots showing new features such as notification systems, toggles, a personal assistant and a new SwiftKey like soft keyboard.