SAN FRANCISCO: THE WINDOWS 8.1 release to manufacturers (RTM) build has seen over two million downloads since Microsoft distributed it to Technet and MSDN subscribers on Tuesday, the firm's EVP of marketing Tami Reller has claimed.
Announcing the news in a keynote at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) on Wednesday, Microsoft's Reller claimed that the firm had seen an "incredible uptake" of the Windows 8.1 build since its release.
"It's a big week this week for [Windows] 8.1; we've seen incredible uptakes already. So far on Windows 8.1 we've seen more than two million downloads, so it's definitely getting a bit of chatter out there in the marketplace."
On 27 August, Microsoft announced that its RTM build of Windows 8.1 was complete, but that it would not make it available to developers on Technet and MSDN until the general availability (GA) launch on 18 October.
The firm's excuse for withholding the code was that it was still making a few changes in cooperation with hardware OEM partners, so the operating system release wasn't final.
However, then Microsoft released the RTM build to MSDN and Technet users on Tuesday, due to strong demand and a lot of moaning from developers.
The two million download figure suggests two things: that Windows 8 developers see the Windows 8.1 release as a much needed update, and that Microsoft did right to reverse its earlier decision to withhold the RTM build until its general availability later this year.
On stage, Reller said that the Windows 8.1 release shows that the software house will "respond and listen" to suggested improvements to Windows 8, promising that Windows 8.1 is "a good example of [Microsoft] doing both of those things".
Microsoft hopes that the updates in Windows 8.1 will help those customers who dislike how different the operating system feels in relation to earlier releases to like it again.
"It gives the audience a chance for Windows 8 to be familiar again, whether it's the Start button, whether it's the ability to boot to desktop, whether it's the old apps view or just the ability to turn off charms if you're in a keyboard type of environment," Reller added.
"We've made third party apps even easier to use with the mouse and keyboard so there's a lot of innovation coming in 8.1."
While on stage, Reller also took the opportunity to discuss Windows XP end of support, revealing that the firm has "now seen about three quarters of Windows enterprises moving to modern desktops" from Windows XP, with the last leg of Windows XP migrations being helped by Windows 8.1. µ