Update for Windows 8.1 can already be installed in a roundabout way – update

It turns out that it is already possible to install the new update for Windows 8.1, which will officially only be released in a month. This can be done by tinkering in the registry or by manually downloading a number of Windows Update installation files.

Neowin readers have discovered that creating one registry key is enough to automatically get the update for Windows 8.1 after a reboot via Windows Update. The key may cause the user’s computer to impersonate a test user. It is unclear whether installing can cause the Windows installation to become corrupt; Neowin advises users to be careful when installing it.

In addition, The Verge has discovered that it is possible to download the update installation files from Windows Update and install them manually. The links to the installation files appeared on a forum.

It is unclear exactly which version of the 8.1 update has been leaked. Last Tuesday it turned out that the update for Windows 8.1 was finished and has been given the release to manufacturing status. The update won’t be officially released until next month, at Microsoft’s Build developer conference in San Francisco.

In the update, apps from the Windows Store will have a title bar with a button to minimize or close them. They also get an icon on the taskbar of the desktop, which makes them behave like regular apps. The two different ‘environments’ of Windows 8.1 should thus come closer together. In addition, Microsoft has added a shutdown menu. In addition, the memory space that Windows occupies has been reduced, allowing manufacturers to make devices with a working memory of 1GB and storage of 16GB, something that should enable cheaper devices.

Update, 8:28: The registry key trick no longer works.

Windows 8.1 update (source: The Verge)