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Microsoft brands Windows Blue as Windows 8.1, and the upgrade will be free

26 June release date for public beta
Wed May 15 2013, 11:45

SOFTWARE REDEVELOPER Microsoft has named Windows Blue as Windows 8.1 and will offer it to existing Windows 8 users for free, with the public beta to be released on 26 June.

Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system has polarised opinion, largely due to its two distinct user interfaces and lack of start button. The firm has moved relatively quickly to try to minimise the fallout from Windows 8 by talking of an update codenamed Windows Blue. Now Microsoft has said that it will be known as Windows 8.1 and will be offered as a free update to existing Windows 8 users.

Tami Reller, CMO and CFO of Microsoft's Windows division told delegates at JP Morgan's Technology, Media and Telecoms conference that Windows Blue will be now be known as Windows 8.1, and that the free update will be distributed to existing Windows 8 users through the Windows Store.

In a blog post, Microsoft spun Windows 8.1 as a continuation of the journey that the firm began with Windows 8, though what the destination will be is another question entirely. The firm said, "Windows 8.1 will help us to deliver the next generation of PCs and tablets with our OEM partners and to deliver the experiences customers - both consumers and businesses alike - need and will just expect moving forward."

Microsoft also announced that it will release a public beta of Windows 8.1 on 26 June and said it will be available for both Windows 8 and Windows RT. The firm said it will release Windows 8.1 before the end of the year, and for some Windows 8 users it can't come too soon. µ


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