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Windows 8.1 will be available to download on 17 October

Microsoft announces retail release for the next day
Wed Aug 14 2013, 14:51
Windows 8.1 Start screen resizable tiles

SOFTWARE REDEVELOPER Microsoft has announced that it will release the Windows 8.1 remedial update to its most recent operating system (OS) on 17 October.

The free update - which is supposedly bringing the much missed Start button and menu back to the Windows 8 PC desktop - will begin rolling out worldwide as a free update for existing Windows 8 customers through the Windows Store, Microsoft said in a blog post today.

Strangely enough, Microsoft has announced that the update will go live for download at 12am on 18 October midnight in New Zealand, which means it will actually be available at 4am Pacific time and 12pm UK time on 17 October.

A little over a year after it launched Windows 8, Microsoft said the update will also be "available at retail and on new devices starting on October 18 by market".

Windows 8.1 promises to bring incremental improvements to the OS in areas like personalisation, Internet Explorer (IE) 11, desktop and internet search that are powered by Bing, built-in applications including a few new ones, an improved Windows Store experience and cloud connectivity with whatever it will be calling Skydrive by then.

However, the improvements and updated features might not spark much excitement for OEMs if the recent Gartner report is anything to go by.

Released last week, the report established that the PC shipments declined 19.8 percent over the last year in Western Europe and 13 percent in the UK.

Gartner said the declines were attributable to manufacturers waiting for Intel to release its fourth generation Haswell chip before launching new products.

Just days after the Gartner report was released, Taiwanese computer maker Acer's president Jim Wong said that the firm would shift focus towards Android and less on Windows 8 devices moving forward.

"We are trying to grow our non-Windows business as soon as possible," Wong told investors in a conference call.

This is most probably down to the rather dire sales of its Windows 8 devices, which saw a plunge in shipments of 44.7 percent year over year. µ


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