Windows 8.1 (aka ‘Blue’): A Free upgrade for existing Win 8 users

Windows 8.1

A recent announcement from Tami Reller, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Microsoft’s Windows division, has now confirmed a number of previous speculations regarding the upcoming Windows 8 release.

Tami Reller credit: Microsoft

Tami Reller
credit: Microsoft

In keeping with Microsoft’s conventional naming policy, the update to Windows 8, which has been codenamed “Blue”, will be officially dubbed Windows 8.1. Windows 8.1 will be available to existing Windows 8 users as a FREE download via the Windows 8 Store (users who don’t already have Windows 8 will be able to buy a standalone version of Window 8.1 which will be priced the same as Windows 8).

The actual final release date remains as yet unknown but Ms. Reller is quoted as saying that it will arrive “before the winter holidays”. What we do know is that the initial “Preview” release is scheduled for 26th June with a Release to Manufacturing expected some time in August. From what Ms. Reller has revealed, it is anticipated that the final general release will occur mid to late October, or early November.

In line with Microsoft’s shift to a faster annual release cycle, Windows 8.1 will consist of a service pack/feature pack combination. Unfortunately, Ms. Reller has spread no further light on exactly what features, alterations to the interface, etc., can be expected – it is still not known if the traditional Start button will be returned or if a boot-to-desktop type option will be incorporated, so that part remains a wait and see situation.

Some pundits are suggesting that all will be revealed with the Preview release in June but I’m not so sure, a Preview isn’t necessarily set in concrete and there can be many a change of heart twixt Preview and Release to Manufacturing.

On a completely different note, and at the risk of revealing my inherent male chauvinist pig side – Ms. Reller is, in my humble opinion, what we in Oz would describe as being…  a pretty good sort! (that is a compliment by the way).

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About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

One Comment

  1. I agree Jim, definitely the best “face of Microsoft” that we have seen for a long time!