In some circles, it has become a tradition to hold off on upgrading to a new version of Windows until after the release of the first service pack (SP1). Service packs are essentially a bundle of all updates distributed to OEMs over the course of many months. But with Windows 8, Microsoft doesn’t plan to wait until years, months, or even weeks after general availability on October 25. The first series of improvements, known as the General Availability Cumulative Update, is already ready for download.
Microsoft has worked hard to streamline the Windows 8 development and testing process, allowing the company to deliver updates on a much more regular basis. As a result, there’s no need to wait for SP1. This update is designed to increase battery life through more efficient power usage, improve the performance of the Start screen and apps, improve audio and video playback, and improve application and driver compatibility.
This is, without a doubt, the first of many updates which will improve upon the Windows 8 experience. If you’ve already acquired an RTM copy of Windows 8 through TechNet or MSDN, you can download the General Availability Cumulative Update today from Windows Update. If not, you’ll have a nice 170MB update ready for your brand new – or newly upgraded – PC in a few weeks.