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Windows 8.1 officially arrives on October 18

Microsoft confirmed the release of Windows 8.1 on October 18. It will be available as a free update from the Store for current Windows 8 and Windows RT users.

After many rumors claiming that Windows 8.1 will arrive in October, Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc made an official announcement and ended these rumors. The first major update to Windows 8 is set to arrive on the 18th of October, addressing some of the most frequent user complaints, especially those concerning the interface.

In a post on The Windows Blog, LeBlanc wrote that "starting at 12:00am on October 18th in New Zealand (that’s 4:00am October 17th in Redmond), Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 will begin rolling out worldwide as a free update for consumers with Windows 8 or Windows RT devices through the Windows Store".

Windows 8.1 will become available for both retail and new devices on the same date. The big changes include the return of the traditional Start button, as well as Skype's integration into the operating system. Also available is a "boot to desktop" option, together with support for smaller form factors. Unfortunately, the Start button does not bring up the Start Menu anymore, pointing to the Start screen instead.


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Codrut Nistor, 2013-08-16 (Update: 2013-08-17)