Microsoft has released an update to Windows 8 even before it officially launches its newest operating system on October 26. The software giant states the update includes performance, power management and battery efficiency, media playback, and compatibility improvements. The update is currently available to MSDN and enterprise customers using Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 via Windows Update.

The cumulative update brings performance improvements in Windows 8 applications and the Start Screen, increased power efficiency to extend battery life, improved audio and video playback, and improved application and driver compatibility with various hardware.

Microsoft states on its official blog that this “post-RTM” update has been issued to do away with the usual waiting times users experienced with earlier versions of Windows as the company went about improving its core code to suit the various OEMs’ newly-developed or enhanced components, drivers and accompanying software. It states this update ensures we won’t have to wait for a service pack to experience such enhancements. This update to Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 will be integrated with the operating system when it is released on October 26.

Windows 8

Windows 8 updated even before it's launched

Additionally, Microsoft is working on updates for its in-built Windows 8 apps. The company will release updates for many of the apps included with the release to manufacturing (RTM) build of Windows 8, delivered to manufacturers and to MSDN and TechNet subscribers in August. The company announced on its official blog that it has started rolling out updates for the various apps Windows 8 comes with.

These app updates will also be available to manufacturers to include by default with PCs shipped in the future. Those who have already installed Windows 8 RTM can get the updates from the Store app. The Store tile will notify you when updates are available, and you can open it and click the updates link in the top right corner to see the list, and install the ones you want.

The Bing app is the first app to get the update. Microsoft will be rolling out updates for the rest of the in-built apps until October 26. The apps that would be updated include SkyDrive, Mail, Calendar, People and Messaging, Photos, Maps, Bing, Finance, News, Sports, Travel, Weather, Video Music and Games. Among some of the more interesting updates for the various apps is the ability to purchase videos in local currencies, new games, improved customisation, including custom pushpins and roaming options along with integration with Bing and travel apps for the Maps app, and the ability to search within SkyDrive.

Microsoft is going all out with the Windows 8 launch drawing close. The company recently rebranded the Windows Phone Marketplace as the Windows Phone Store. Microsoft also revamped the Windows Phone website. The rebranding of Windows Phone Marketplace to Windows Phone store has probably been undertaken to streamline the user experience between the Windows 8 Store and Windows Phone Store. The two even share the same Store icon.

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