Sunday, 25 August 2013

Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 is ready

Microsoft has gradually teased details of the next version of Windows 8, called Windows 8.1, over the last few months, emphasising that it's a free software update that will release later this year.

The company finally presented Windows 8.1 for the first time at its Build Windows Developers conference in San Francisco on 26 June, and it released an early preview - or beta - version for software developers to test.

The next version of Windows will notably bring back the Start Button missing from Windows 8, which released in October 2012, and it will include a bevy of new features, changes and performance enhancements geared toward overhauling the platform. The company said it developed Windows 8.1 in response to feedback.

With that said, here's what to expect and what do you need to do to get ready. We plan to bring you a review of the new OS update when we get a hands-on with it following Build.

Microsoft has offered a Windows 8.1 preview release since 26 June, but has now revealed that the full consumer version will be available from 17 October. It said that it will go live at 12am on 18 October in New Zealand, so that means 12pm in the UK, 7am on the east coast of America and 4am on the west.

If you can't wait, the preview is still available for Windows 8 and Windows RT, so developers and early adopters can begin testing now. As you would expect Windows 7 users will have to upgrade to Windows 8 before then trying out the Windows 8.1 update.