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Windows 8.1 refresh leaks to the Web

Gregg Keizer | Feb. 4, 2014
Russian leak site provides more information about skirt-Start-screen setting.

Windows 8.1 was the first to include a boot-to-desktop option, but users had to manually trigger the change.

Leaks of upcoming Windows releases are not uncommon. In the run-up to Windows 8's launch in 2012, the operating system's "RTM," for "release to manufacturing," hit file-sharing sites within 24 hours. A year later, Windows 8.1 RTM did the same, again within hours of Microsoft announcing the milestone.

While Microsoft once went after leakers and tried to purge unauthorized Windows' builds from the Web, it long ago gave up on that Sisyphean task. However, it regularly warns users that installing pirated copies can be dangerous. Last year it just that, citing survey results ( download PDF) that said a quarter of self-identified pirates claimed the practice had put malware on their machines.

Microsoft has said nothing publicly about its Windows 8.1 plans, Update 1 or otherwise.


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