Conventional wisdom has often held that you should hold off any major operating system upgrade until the first service pack or point release. That logic is going to be difficult to apply with Windows 8, since the first service pack is essentially appearing before the operating system goes on general release on October 26.
The updates, which have been driven through changes requested by hardware manufacturers getting Windows 8 systems ready for sale, can be downloaded through Windows Update if you already have Windows 8 installed. Improvements from the updates include better battery performance and faster Start screen performance. One downside? A handful of system settings now require a reboot before they can be applied. While rebooting in Windows 8 is much faster, any forced reboot is a nuisance.
We've already seen Microsoft announce updates to several of the built-in Windows 8 apps earlier this week. While previous Windows service packs have often included major new functions or apps, that's less likely in the new Store-centric approach.
Updating Windows 8 for General Availability [Building Windows 8]