Microsoft is making it easier for Windows RT users, like those who own the original Surface RT, to upgrade to Windows RT 8.1 through a new automatic update process handled by Windows Update. This is dramatically different from how the upgrade from Windows RT to Windows RT 8.1 was handled in the past as that was done through the Windows Store rather than through Windows Update.
Initially, with the launch of Windows 8.1 late last year, Microsoft had made updating to 8.1 a more confusing process where users would have to update through the Windows Store for both Windows 8 and Windows RT users. However, the process changed in the spring when the upgrade to Windows 8.1 was being handled through the Windows Update utility rather than through the Windows Store.
Now, it looks like Windows RT users are being migrated to Windows Update as well for their upgrade to 8.1, a process that will hopefully reduce confusion for those who haven't updated their systems yet.
A Microsoft spokesperson issued the following statement to Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet.
This (Windows RT) pilot program is an example of ways we're experimenting to help ensure more of our customers benefit from a continuously improving Windows experience. Similar to how the Windows 8.1 Update process works today, the pilot program will automatically update consumer Windows 8 and Windows RT machines for free to Windows 8.1 Update and Windows RT 8.1 Update in select markets.
The move to simplifying the update process may be an effort by Microsoft to reduce platform fragmentation and ensure that all users are on the latest version of Windows so that they can create a similar user experience.