Windows 8.1 Update 2 Released, Brings As Little As We Expected

When we reported on the potential incentives Microsoft could be bringing with Windows 9 earlier this month, we talked about Windows 8.1's "Update 2" being a little thinner than was originally planned. As Microsoft has finally rolled that update out this week, we can see that's just the case. To some, the update might not even be worth pursuing, though we'd still recommend opting in for it to keep as up-to-date as possible.

The interesting thing about Update 2 is that at the moment, it's an "optional" update. This alone might cause many to go a while without it, and proves that it's really not a "major" update as its name might imply. Nonetheless, to snag the update, you'll want to hit-up the Windows Update tool, and choose the optional update KB2975719, as seen in the below shot.

As hard as it might be to believe, the change that's going to be most noticeable to people is the small addition to the Windows Update screen that tells us when updates were last checked for, and when the last update occurred:

If you think I'm joking about that being the most noticeable update, note the fact that it's the first improvement listed on the changelog page. Apart from that, touchpad improvements have also made their way into this release, which come to us in the form of options available in the "Mouse and touchpad" settings. These include tweaks for double-tapping and dragging, right-clicking, and the ability to keep the touchpad enabled if a mouse is connected.

Beyond that, the Ruble currency symbol has been added for input and rendering; out-of-date ActiveX controls are now blocked automatically; Wi-Fi direct APIs have been added (think Miracast); and the "Date taken" field of GPS data in MP4 files can now be read and written to by developers through Win32 APIs.

Update 2 may just be a "minor" update, but as I mentioned above, it's highly recommended that you update anyway. This is due to the sheer number of bug fixes that the update bundles in. None of the features in Update 2 might be to your liking, but bug fixes are generally a very good thing.

If you don't want to update through Windows Update, or can't for some reason, install packages can be had at the changelog URL below.