Microsoft is currently preparing a relatively minor update to Windows 8.1 that’s expected to debut in the spring. The "Update 1" package is largely designed to improve the shared code use between Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 and make it easier for developers to build apps that run across both platforms. Russian leaker WZor has published a number of screenshots of an early Windows 8.1 Update 1 build, and he claims PC makers will start to test the update later this month.

The screenshots simply show a more recent version of Windows 8.1, but they do not include any UI changes or examples of new features. Microsoft is understood to be considering bringing back a version of the Start Menu in a future version of Windows. While this change is expected to take place in a "Threshold" round of releases in early 2015, it appears that today’s leak of "Update 1" for Windows 8.1 does not include the old-style Start Menu. Microsoft is expected to finalize Update 1 for Windows 8.1 in March, with a public release in April. The update, known as a General Distribution Release (GDR) internally, follows similar small GDR updates to Windows Phone.

Windows 8.1 Update 1 expected at Build 2014

Microsoft is holding its Build 2014 developer conference in early April, and the company is expected to detail Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Update 1. This year’s "Update 1" will likely include minor changes to Windows 8.1 ahead of much larger improvements in Windows "Threshold" for early 2015. Microsoft may take the opportunity at Build to discuss some of its future plans with Threshold, but we’ve learned the company is still planning much of that work at the moment.