WZOR, the Russian gossip source with a lengthy, accurate track record Windows scoops, recently leaked a purported summer update to Windows 8.1 that at this point shows very little change.
Many were encouraged by the sort-of return of the Start menu in Windows 8.1, but it was not the full Start menu similar to that in Windows 7 and earlier. Most fans had been hoping for a return of the true Start menu, but at this point, there isn’t one.
WZOR released a batch of new screenshots on his own blog, hosted on LiveJournal, which shows what appears to be Windows 8.1 Update 1, the update due later this year that some had hoped would include a more substantial Start button, or maybe a Start menu.
WZOR’s screens give no indication either way, judging by the leaked screens. Unfortunately, WZOR shows off nothing special except the build information, Version 6.3 Build 9600.16581.WINBLUES14_GDR_LEAN.131222-2030.
The final build of Windows 8.1 was 9600.16384.130821-1623, which means there have been about 500 new builds since.
According to the report, Update 1 will be available to Microsoft partners starting on January 15, and the first public release will come April 1 (how appropriate), the day before the Microsoft Build Developer Conference in San Francisco.
WZOR believes this will likely be a service pack, rolling up all of the patches and fixes issued since the release of Windows 8.1 last fall. He believes it will be a free update available through the Windows Update service.
Clearly this is not Threshold, the major update to Windows 8.1 that is not expected until early 2015. That version of the OS is expected to bring a unified experience and interface to the PC, tablet, Xbox One and Windows Phone experience. Threshold is believed to be the release that fully restores the Start menu to the way we liked it. It will also feature Metro apps running in Windows on the traditional desktop.