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Microsoft confirms Windows Blue 8.1 as a free upgrade coming later in 2013

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Windows 8
Windows Blue is now officially Windows 8

After months of speculation, Microsoft has officially dubbed its long-awaited OS-update Windows 8.1 ahead of its launch next month.

The update will not arrive until later this year, but Microsoft has also confirmed that it'll be free to existing users of Windows 8 laptop and desktop computers and Windows RT tablets.

The confirmation came from Tami Reller, the chief financial officer for the Windows division, who was speaking on a conference call with J.P. Morgan.

Unfortunately Reller did not offer an official release date, other than to say the launch would come "later in the calendar year."

If folks are unable to wait that long, a preview version of Windows 8.1 will launch this summer following the Build developer conference on June 26 where all of the changes will be revealed.

Up until now Windows 8.1 had been codenamed Windows Blue, but that moniker has now been officially dropped.

While it has long been thought that Windows 8.1 would be a free upgrade, it's great to hear the news from the horse's mouth.

Apple tends to charge around £20 for its annual Mac OS X upgrades, which often bring hundreds of new features and refinements.

Windows 8.1 is likely to remedy a host of complaints users have had since Windows 8 launched in October 2012.

The Start button and other ditched Windows 7 features are likely to return, leading to accusations that Microsoft is backtracking on its revolutionary concept, while many other bugbears will be taken care of.

Microsoft also plans to launch a host of new apps along with the update, including Internet Explorer 11.

Via Engadget

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