Handful of fixes for Windows 8.1 Preview

Microsoft has been releasing Windows 8.1 Preview fixes on a more accelerated schedule. For instance, so far, about 11 fixes have been released over a four-week period.

Microsoft seems to be addressing basic problems in Windows 8.1 Preview in these patch releases. While the OS is still at a beta test stage, a more polished version is near at hand. Microsoft has indicated that the release-to-manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 8.1 likely will arrives sometime late next month.

Windows 8.1 restores the Start button (or something like it), and allows bootups directly to the Desktop side of Windows 8.1, among other improvements. Installing the Preview, though, comes with lots of caveats. Some of the updates are

  • KB2863147 – Fixes a license notification issue. Basically Microsoft migrates your Windows 8 license to 8.1 and this will make sure it doesn’t expire and that you can still upgrade to the final Windows 8.1.
  • KB2865946 – Smart card PIN disclosure after an automatic restart for Windows Update.
  • KB2866512 – Internet Explorer 11 Preview freezes or crashes while loading a web page containing widgets.
  • KB2866537 – Windows Store app instability after an app update in Windows 8.1 Preview.
  • KB 2870257- Service metadata packages in Windows 8.1 Preview. This fix addresses problems with the service metadata packages of “some network operators.”
  • KB 2871052- Stability of SkyDrive in Windows 8.1 Preview. No details are provided on what is getting fixed.
  • KB 2871055- Viewing a Web page with a timer in Internet Explorer 11 Preview on Windows 8.1 Preview. This bug is described as being an issue with Web pages set to render in the IE 10 document mode that also contain VBScripts associated with timer code. When the pages are viewed in the IE 11 Preview browser, the VBScript code doesn’t start correctly

If you’re running the Windows 8.1 preview, all of the updates should be installed automatically. In a welcome change in Windows 8.1, both Important and Recommended updates are available from either the touch-friendly Windows 8 PC Settings or the desktop Control Panel.