Microsoft has reportedly signed off on the upcoming Windows 8.1 update, and has moved it to the RTM (release-to-manufacturing) stage. This means that the update, which is being called "Spring" update or Update 1, is now in the hands of device manufacturers who will test it on their products. According to Russian leaker WZor, the final update was compiled on February 21st, and signed off on February 26th.
Joe Belfiore, head of platform at Microsoft covering phones, tablets and PCs, officially confirmed the Windows 8.1 update at Mobile World Congress last week. The update is aimed to make Windows 8.1 more familiar to those who prefer using keyboard and mouse.
Some of the changes include a title bar at the top of Modern/Windows Store apps, the addition of power and search buttons on the Start Screen, right-clickable context menus for Start screen tiles, IE8 compatibility mode in IE11, and more. The update will also enable Windows 8.1 to run on devices with just 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, allowing manufacturers to put it on cheaper tablets.
While the update doesn't seem to bring a sea of change, it is definitely a step in the right direction. Whether it'll boost sales of Windows 8.1-powered devices remains to be seen. The update will be made available to existing Windows 8 users on April 8th after Microsoft's Build conference.