Despite a few rumors floating around that Microsoft would soon be releasing a second update to Windows 8.1, Microsoft has come out and announced that they're changing the way they release operating system updates, announcing a set of August updates for Windows 8.1 in the process.

In April, Microsoft released Windows 8.1 Update 1, which was a small collection of updates mainly designed to improve the experience for those with a keyboard and mouse. It was a relatively large collection of tweaks and improvements, more than what you'd usually see in one of the company's 'Patch Tuesday' releases, which are typically reserved for security updates.

Microsoft has realized that instead of waiting for operating system improvements to accumulate, creating something along the lines of an Update 2 to Windows 8.1, the company could simply push upgrades on a monthly basis. Going forward, any usability or feature updates to Windows 8.1 will be delivered alongside security-based Patch Tuesday updates, starting with the August updates on August 12th.

This month, we can expect a few minor upgrades alongside the usual array of security patches:

  • Precision touchpad improvements - three new end-user settings have been added: Leave touch pad on when a mouse is connected; allow right-clicks on the touchpad; double-tap and drag.
  • Miracast Receive - exposes a set of Wi-Fi direct APIs for Independent Hardware Vendor (IHV) drivers or OEM drivers to develop Windows 32-bit applications that run on all supported x86-based or x64-based versions of Windows 8.1, enabling the computer as a Miracast receiver.
  • Minimizing login prompts for SharePoint Online - reduces the number of prompts with federated use in accessing SharePoint Online sites. If you select the "Keep me signed in" check box when you log on for the first time, you will not see prompts for successive access to that SharePoint Online site.

The updates will be delivered as usual through Windows Update, meaning it will happen automatically for the majority of users. If you'd rather get the updates immediately, head into Windows Update on August 12th to perform a manual update.