Microsoft has admitted that the Release To Manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 8.1 has a few outstanding issues that will have to be resolved in a post-release patch.
Microsoft's Windows 8.1, previously known as Windows Blue, has an embarrassing list of known bugs despite hitting Release To Manufacturing status.
Initially, Microsoft had announced that it would not be providing developers with access to the Windows 8.1 RTM, asking them to instead wait until its retail release to test and target the updated operating system previously known as Windows Blue. Following an entirely predictable outcry, the company relented - but in releasing the software to developers, it has had to make an embarrassing admission that it isn't quite finished despite its RTM status.
In a release notes document distributed to developers, Microsoft has coughed to a few glitches that will be present in the software on release. While not show-stoppers, the flaws will need to be patched with a post-release update - meaning those who buy Windows 8.1 at retail on disc will be receiving the flaws, although the company may modify its download versions once the flaws have been fixed.
The majority of issues centre around Internet Explorer 11, Windows 8.1's bundled web browser, and its interactions with Adobe Flash content. For international users, the news that the Modern UI version of IE11 fails to support non-Latin characters when running Flash will be annoying; for others, the fact that Flash-based content running in either version of IE11 fails to display Play To end-points in the Devices charm menu will be even more annoying.
The final IE11 glitch comes courtesy of a multitasking failure: when viewing Flash content in IE11 for the Modern UI, then switching to the traditional Desktop version and back again, the Flash content will have disappeared - necessitating a reload of the page.
All these issues, to be fair, can be fairly described as minor - although one additional problem, relating to the Work Folders feature of the OS, could cause headaches in enterprises: both the server and client must be running the same milestone release of Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 respectively or the Work Folders functionality will fail in a worryingly unspecified manner.
For Windows Server 2012 R2, which is based on the same core as Windows 8.1, there are a few additional issues: installation on a virtual machine will fail if there is less than 800MB of RAM, despite the OS officially only requiring 512MB; the Add/Remove Features Wizard contains text referring to the previous version of Windows Server 2012; and the Essentials Experience feature will only work in a single-domain environment with no read-only domain controllers and will fail if installed with no network connectivity. These issues are in addition to those listed for Windows 8.1, which Windows Server 2012 R2 shares.
Thus far, Microsoft has not indicated when patches for the above issues will be ready - but with the operating system due to hit shop shelves in October, the company will have to work fast to get the problems fixed in time.