Microsoft has formally announced the upcoming Windows 8.1 release date, with the latest iteration of the operating system to land globally on October 18.
Building on the existing Windows 8 platform which was officially launched last year, the newly confirmed Windows 8.1 release date sees the revised dual PC and tablet OS head to launch a little over two months from now.
Making the announcement via the official Microsoft blog, Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft’s Senior Marketing Manager stated: “I am excited to share that starting at 12:00am on October 18th in New Zealand (that’s 12:00pm in the UK and 4:00am October 17th in Redmond), Windows 8.1 will begin rolling out worldwide as a free update for consumers on Windows 8 through the Windows Store.”
He added: “Windows 8.1 will also be available at retail and on new devices starting on October 18th by market.”
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With many of the upcoming Windows 8.1 features already able to be trialled by downloading the free Windows 8.1 preview release, Microsoft has confirmed that the incremental update will see a raft of new features added including a revised Windows Store and enhanced personalisation options.
One of the main improvements of Windows 8.1 over its predecessor is the return of the iconic Windows Start button. Although not regaining its full array of features, the start button with act as a shortcut from the Desktop mode back to the tiled interface.
Further updates will see compatibility with 3D printers added as the extra-dimensional printers continue to grow in popularity and reduce in price. Additional printing enhancements will see Wi-Fi Direct and NFC printing make the cut.
“It’s very exciting to be delivering Windows 8.1 to consumers just before Windows 8 celebrates its 1-year anniversary,” LeBlanc added.