A second update to Windows 8.1 has been rumored to release in the fall for a number of months and there's been plenty of speculation about what the update will include. Early on, it was suggested that Update 2 might include a new Start menu, but we've since learned that's not the case.

I told you last week that the update might show up for the August Patch Tuesday. I've heard from a source today that the update, will indeed, show up for August Patch Tuesday – so you can definitely count on it being included in the batch of regular updates. My source also gave more insight into what to expect from the update.

Here's what we now know:

  1. It will not be called "Update 2." Despite stories that suggest otherwise (ironically, even the title to this article), Microsoft is calling this month's Windows 8.1 update simply: "August Update."
  2. It will not be cumulative. The August Update is a standalone patch that does not include bits from Update 1. This also means that Update 1 is a requirement.
  3. It will not be mandatory. Unlike Update 1, the August Update is not a requirement for Windows 8.1 to continue to receive future updates, however, as noted above, Update 1 is required before the August Update will be offered.

So, in many ways, the August Update will be just like any other monthly update.

As for what's actually included in the August Update beyond fixes, Microsoft will be putting a blog post up early next week to define its contents.