Earlier this week Microsoft released Windows 8.1 August Update — aka the Update 2 to the desktop operating system. The update squashes several bug fixes and brings in a plethora of improvements. The company has now revealed everything that the new operating system update features.
Improvements to touchpad precision
The new update makes collaboration with touchpad devices more precise. As the company notes, the touchpad can now be left on when a mouse is connected. Additionally, it now allows right-clicks on the touchpad. Furthermore, the double-tap and drag feature has also been improved. These settings can be found under the mouse and touchpad menu in PC Settings.
Internet Explorer blocking ActiveX control.
As we previously pointed out, Internet Explorer will now block out-of-date ActiveX controls. However, the company has given users one additional month before it automatically starts squashing the potentially vulnerable Java elements.
Wi-Fi Direct APIs for Discoverability
The company has also brought along new Wi-Fi Direct APIs for Discoverability that will allow Independent Hardware Vendors or OEMs to develop Windows-based applications on all supported x86-based and x64-based versions of Windows 8.1. This will also allow them to build a Miracast receiver on Windows.
Video capture metadata for MP4
The new feature will allow developers to read and write the “Date taken” and GPS data on MP4 files by using Windows Runtime and Win32 APIs.
Minimizing Logon Prompts for Microsoft SharePoint Online
The number of prompts with federated use in accessing SharePoint Online sites has been reduced. 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 attempts to that SharePoint Online site.
Settings changes for Update and Recovery
Windows Update Settings now gives you more information on how up-to-date your systems are by displaying the most recent check for updates and the last date updates were installed.
Bug fixes and improvements
Alongside the new features, the August Update also brings several improvements and bug fixes. Some of the most important ones are as below:
- Update to add pronunciation Pinyin strings when you input Chinese characters in Windows RT 8.1 or Windows 8.1
- Private bytes keep increasing when you encrypt data on SQL Server on Window 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2
- Windows Server Essentials integration with Office 365 or Windows Azure Active Directory is blocked
- Applications lose local data when you deploy non-English Windows RT 8.1 or Windows 8.1 by using Configuration Manager
- Task name is deleted after you link a storage report to a scheduled task in Windows
- Too few tiles are displayed during image customization in Windows
- “An extended error occured” when you add a group Managed Service Account in Windows
- Can’t disable security settings in Group Policy Preferences for Internet Explorer 10
- USB device remove and install repeatedly when it is connected to a Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2-based computer
- Clicking “Find more” under mobile broadband causes Searching status to freeze in Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1
- USB device appears with a yellow exclamation mark in Windows Device Manager in Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2
- Wired or Wireless Network GPO setting is not displayed in GPMC report in Windows
- “Failed to fetch servers” when you try to find available IP addresses in IP Address Management in Windows Server 2012 R2
- SystemSettings.exe process crashes when you add a VPN connection on a Windows RT 8.1 or Windows 8.1-based computer
- Connect to incorrect entry point when Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2-based computer wakes from sleep or hibernate
- File download freezes and CPU usage high when WFP callout driver is installed in Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2
- Account picture shifts to right side after you unlock a computer from an application in Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1
- “0x0000009F” Stop error occurs on a Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2-based computer
- Touch input does not work in Windows Journal after Windows 8.1 wakes from sleep mode while the program is running
- Playback stops when you open a file that the Xbox Music application is playing in Windows RT 8.1 or Windows 8.1
- Computer does not wake when you disconnect AC power from the Windows 8.1-based or Windows Server 2012 R2-based computer
- Update to improve battery life during low-power audio playback in Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1
- Windows Store app still reacts to search text when you delete the text in Search charm in Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1
- “Insert a SIM” text is still shown in VAN UI after you insert a SIM card in Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1
- Browser icons cannot be unpinned from taskbar when you change the default browser in Windows RT 8.1 or Windows 8.1
- Delay in turning on display when you reopen lid of a Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2-based portable computer
- PDF file pages are blank when you open the file by using a Windows Store app in Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2
- August 2014 OneDrive reliability update for Windows RT 8.1 and Windows 8.1
- Desktop isn’t shown correctly when network icon in notification area is changed repeatedly in 64-bit version of Windows
How to grab the August Update
August Update comes as a monthly update, and with this Microsoft is changing the way it seeds out the new updates to you. It comes as an optional update that users can snag from Windows Update.
In addition, users can also snag the installation files from the via link below, which is to be manually installed on the system.Further reading: Microsoft, Windows 8.1