A new post from Russian Microsoft leaker WZOR confirms information on Windows 8.1 Update 2, details new security measures at Microsoft and talks about the fate of Windows 9 due to Chinese decisions.
The Russian group, well known for leaking Microsoft information and software long before their official release, confirms that Windows 8.1 Update 2 should be released in August / September this year. According to WZOR the update will be similar to Update 1 of Windows 8.1, it will be free and also pre-installed on computers once the update has been released.
Users who install Windows 8.1 Update 2 from scratch will need new license keys. WZOR also mentions that Microsoft will likely offer two options to users who are still on Windows 8.0, 1) update to Windows 8.1 Update 1 and then to Windows 8.1 Update 2, or 2) for likely a small fee, purchase a direct update to Windows 8.1 Update 2 from the Windows Store.
Previously Winbeta already reported the Windows 8.1 Update 2 would be released in the third quarter of this year and that the update would be as big as 3GB. WZOR confirms the information regarding the timing of the release but argues that the 3GB size is not the update, but a full x86 64bit installation of Windows 8.1 Update 2 (cumulative).
According to WZOR the update is almost finished but unfortunately the group is unable to provide details on new features or enhancements. As Microsoft is planning a significant event from the 23rd to 27th of June, WZOR experts Windows 8.1 Update 2 might receive RTM Escrow status one of those days but isn’t entirely sure.
WZOR also mentions that Microsoft might offer purchasers of a computer with Windows 8.1 Update 2 a substantial discount or a free upgrade to Windows 9.
The reason the group can’t provide much details on Windows 8.1 Update 2 is because Microsoft is apparently not happy with the recent leaks as WZOR mentions (again) that the company has made internal changes that should avoid leaks. Access to the servers where (test) builds of Windows are created has been restricted more than before. Testers of upcoming Windows releases need to request a test build using a special internal tool. Every test build is individually assembled with the goal of making it easier to find out who is leaking builds. Likely each individual build contains code so the company can trace leaked builds back to the original leaker.
WZOR also mentions that the internal changes have affected Microsoft offices in many countries but especially to Microsoft’s office in China. That doesn’t surprise us as we’ve seen many leaks originating from China lately. Microsoft is now also keeping a closer eye on its corporate sales division in China, likely to prevent leaks originating from large computer manufacturers.
The post ends with a remark on Windows 9, according to WZOR Microsoft has been shocked by a number of decisions from the Chinese government (likely the decision to forbid Windows 8 on government computers) which might affect the release date of Windows 9 . According to WZOR Microsoft is in “panic mood” about the fate of Windows 9.
Update: WZOR has updated the post with additional information on Windows 9. The group states that Windows 9 Enterprise might have the ability to disable the next generation of the Metro interface (Metro 2.0) and that integration with cloud services (probably OneDrive) has been removed from that version of Windows 9.