Quiet and easy, Microsoft. Quiet and easy. The software titan has just released Windows 8.1 Update 3, making it available as the November update to match the previously launched August one.
You may recall there were solid plans under place to released Update 3 for Windows 8.1. Redmond outlined a desire to launch three updates for the operating system this year, with each new refresh introducing a bunch of new options.
However, while we did dramatically get our hands on Update 1, things took a turn for the different by the time Update 2 was ready. It was expected to bring back the Start Menu, but instead arrived only with a few bug fixes and general polish.
Then came talk of Update 3, with reports that it might be released closer to the launch of Windows 10, in order to prepare systems for the upgrade to that new operating system. Well, it’s here now.
Somewhat oddly, this update is listed under Optional.
It is a pretty heavy update, hefty even, coming in at a rock solid 775.2MB. And you will need to restart your machine after installation. But it does bring in a fair amount of enhancements.
Here are the new features and improvements:
- Refreshed language packs
- Defence-in-depth security and Schannel hardening
- Support for newer hardware (boot order allowance, SD card improvements, USB debugging)
- Improved Web Services for Devices (WSD) printer support during network switches
- Performance and reliability improvements in clustered virtual machine mission-critical environments
- Improved manageability
- Additional hardware support (devices that have third-party disk encryption software enabled can now be upgraded to Windows 8.1 more easily)
It essentially includes all previous updates since the last image update in April 2014, but it does bring all client and server versions of the operating system up to date.
The November 2014 update rollup is interestingly titled KB3000850, available for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2, and is flying off of servers now.