Microsoft released the upcoming Windows 8.1 Update 1 late last week, either by chance or design, but the company quickly took down all the download links for this feature pack.

The official launch is on track to take place next month.

But it appears that many users downloaded the update freely from the official Microsoft servers while the links were live — the registry hack was the first to go, as it allowed users to get the pack automatically via the Windows Update option.

And then the direct download links were also taken down.

Obviously, this is not a problem if you are trying to download Update 1, also called the Windows 8.1 Spring 2014 Update by Microsoft. The cat is out of the bag, so it is out of the bag!

Download links for the MSU installers are readily available on the web on file sharing websites.

The more surprising bit here was that Microsoft published for basically all versions of Update 1, from the 32-bit and 64-bit flavors to ARM based versions — meaning, this is probably not a mistake of someone working at the company, but instead a chance for Microsoft to test the waters.

In other words, collect some feedback from the user base before official rollout in early April.

Anyway, if you do go hunting for some links, just make sure you scout them out from (relatively) reliable sources. Shady, tampered files containing malware are also reportedly floating around the torrent sites.

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  • TriW

    my windows 8.1 has updated to update 1 already 🙂 thanks to the leak, so far no malware

    • Sally Black

      You’re lucky! Have to be careful for the malware!

      • Ted Smith

        I am with you, Sally. I use Skype for business and while away on business. This will be really useful now that it works.

        • Ted Smith

          I commented on the wrong blog by accident regarding skype and put it in the proper place. I do agree on the malware point as well. I’ve been fortunate enough to not experience, but I have friends who can attest how damaging they can become.

      • Fahad Ali

        Agreed, all it takes is a simple running of an infected EXE or even other such autorun files to open up backdoors.

        is why installing and setting up a firewall is a must. It saves half
        the trouble, and one can take note of any such files that phone home or
        connect to suspicious servers.

    • Fahad Ali

      Good to hear that. Small changes, but handy and useful.

  • Ray C

    I’m using it now, and it’s working great

    • Bill Franklin

      That’s good to hear! I haven’t gotten a chance to download yet, but I’m expecting good things.