Microsoft will release Windows 8.1 starting October 17th. It’s a free update for Windows 8.1 users, and you’ll be able to download and install it through the Windows Store utility.

Starting October 18th, Windows 8.1 will also be available for purchase at retail stores, and it’ll come pre-loaded on new PCs.

Windows 8.1

Interestingly, October 17th is also the launch date for Ubuntu 13.10. But I doubt Microsoft is trying to steal any thunder from the open source Linux-based operating system. Canonical releases new builds of Ubuntu every 6 months, so it’s not that surprising that every now and again launch day lines up with another high profile event.

Windows 8.1 includes a number of updates, including:

  • Improved support for high-resolution displays and multi-display setups
  • The return of the Windows Start Button (although it just takes you to the Start Screen)
  • Options to have more than two Metro-style apps open in resizeable windows
  • More Live Tile sizes
  • Built-in support for 3D printers
  • On-screen keyboard improvements
  • Start Screen customization options )set a custom image as your background, etc)

The Windows 8.1 update is coming almost exactly a year after the launch of Windows 8. Like its predecessor, Windows 8.1 is designed to run on a wide range of devices including desktop, laptop, and tablet computers as well as devices that combine some of the functions of two or more of those categories.

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8 replies on “Windows 8.1 launches October 17th, 2013”

  1. I remember the first time I booted into Windows 8. I was so lost, I had to google for help on what to do. Now, almost a year later, I’ve become much more comfortable with the new version of Windows. I’ve become more familiar with where to find various functions, and how to find the desktop versions of apps instead of the dumbed-down metro versions (Windows Update, I’m looking at you!).
    Overall, I’m satisfied that Windows 8 is actually an update, and not just a confusing mish-mash of random changes.
    I’m hoping that Windows 8.1 is a smoother amalgamation of Windows 7 and Windows 8, without quite so many jarring instances of cognitive dissonance.

  2. I really can’t understand so passionate hatred for Win 8. It would be logical if people disliked all versions of Windows, but being in love with Win 7 and strongly hating Win 8 is ridiculous because Win 8 is actually Win 7 with a few more (some of them very nice) features. I have been using Win 8 on my desktop since the day 1. I would not go back to Win 7, and hey I still can pin shortcuts to the task bar. Even more amazingly, most mouses can be configured to bring the start menu on a custom button click, then instead of a going through the start menu you just click a large icon to start a program 🙂 There is really nothing to passionately hate 🙂

  3. Ahh, the “fool me twice, shame on me” edition of Windows 8 with the fake Start button.

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