Windows 8.1 Update 1 release set for 11 March

Microsoft is ready to release an update to Windows 8.1 that will arrive in early March and allow the OS to be used on cheaper tablets in future

Related: Microsoft offers idiots guide to Windows 8.1

ZDNet quotes an accurate and trusted source as stating the update, which is slated for 11 March, will include a number of small tweaks that it hopes will make it more attractive to many different types of users.

The same source thinks that the Windows 8.1 Update 1 could include some work that Microsoft has been carrying out behind the scenes that will reduce the amount of memory and disk space the OS needs to be able to run and therefore allow it to work on lower end tablets.

It’s widely rumoured the new update will allow Windows Store apps to be pinned to desktop taskbars with thumbnail previews for the Metro-style apps on the taskbar and they will also include close boxes for the same style apps.

Other small tweaks to Windows 8.1 in this update include separate dedicated power and search buttons on the home screen, and right click context menus for mouse users.

The update release date is relatively close to the Windows Phone 8.1 refresh, which is slated to be released to manufacturers [RTM] just before Microsoft’s Build 2014 conference gets underway on 1 April.

Even though this is the case, it’s unlikely that there will be any changes to the Windows 8.1 Update 1 API to bring it additional shared functionality with Windows Phone 8.1, something that is expected to arrive with Windows “Threshold”.

Related: A closer look at Windows 8.1 and the Desktop: It’s an improvement, but not enough

Threshold is the working name for what could eventually become Windows 9, which is already been dubbed by those in the know as an OS to rule them all meaning it will be enhanced to work across PCs, smartphones running Windows Phone and the Xbox One.

Windows 8.1 Update 1 will be released as an over the air update via Windows Update and any Windows 8.1 users will receive it automatically.