Microsoft promised to release a set or two of key updates for Windows 8.1 RTM just before release, and as scheduled the company has started delivering new updated for the new operating system before it hits the market on October 18.

Carrying the codename Windows 8.1 GA Rollup A, this particular update cycle comes with only a select few visual improvements, but plenty of bug fixes — a sign that Microsoft primarily focused on addressing performance glitches and optimizing the code.

The name of the update pack suggests a second release may be incoming later this week. And who knows, maybe that one focuses on visual touchups and some design changes!

But this batch of updates is a sign that Microsoft is not only rolling out improvements for Windows 8.1 via Windows Updates but also as a separate download for hardware partners that have installed the new operating system on their upcoming machines.

You can take a look at the complete details over at Paul Thurrott.

The pack includes no less than 658 updates and comes in at around 200MB for the x64 version, while the x86 and ARM versions measure at 100MB. In simpler terms, this is pretty much as service pack for Windows 8.1, or something along those lines.

Microsoft has not yet publicly commented on these updates, but expect more detail s to be provided later this week as we head into the official launch of Windows 8.1.

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