Windows 8.1 set for October 18 release—Microsoft


Steven Sinofsky, then-president of the Microsoft Windows group, delivers his presentation at the launch of Microsoft Windows 8, in New York in this Oct. 25, 2012, file photo. On Tuesday, May 7, 2013, Microsoft announced it is preparing an update to Windows 8 for release later this year. It says the changes are designed to address complaints and confusion with the new operating system. AP FILE PHOTO

SAN FRANCISCO — A tweaked version of Microsoft’s Windows operating system which restores the “Start” button missed by users and updates other features will be available on October 18, the company said Wednesday.

Windows 8.1 will be offered as a free download to those already using Windows 8, and comes in response to a lukewarm reception to the operating system introduced last year aimed at serving both mobile devices and PCs.

A full retail version of Windows 8.1 will also be available on the same date.

“I know a lot of folks are eager to find out when they will be able to get Windows 8.1,” said a blog posting from Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc.

LeBlanc said it would roll out worldwide starting in New Zealand just after midnight.

“Windows 8.1 brings many improvements in areas like personalization, Internet Explorer 11, search which is powered by Bing, built-in apps including a few new ones, an improved Windows Store experience, and cloud connectivity with SkyDrive (and much more) that people will enjoy,” LeBlack said.

A public preview of Windows 8.1 was made available June 26.

At the time, Microsoft said it had sold more than 100 million licenses for Windows 8 but that the update was planned after listening to customers.

Some analysts say Microsoft was forced to act because of slow adoption of Windows 8, which made some radical changes to the design of the desktop.

With Windows 8, Microsoft was trying to create a system that could be used on mobile touch screen devices while also serving the users of traditional PCs.

Microsoft launched Windows 8 last October, revamping its flagship system in an effort to make inroads in the fast-growing mobile segment. At the same time, it launched its Surface tablet computer.

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  • Zim

    I’m fine with Windows 8, without the normal START button. However, I am anticipating the update as it has additional features and they make Windows 8 store work better.

  • Guest

    Back in my day, we had no fancy GUI, we had a command line.

    If you wanted to configure your hardware, you needed to edit your autoexec.bat and config.sys with a text editor.

    If you made a mistake in your config.sys, the computer won’t boot and you’d need a boot disk.

    If you got a virus (especially Sampo, which was the original Filipino computer virus, not that “Love Bug” worm which is not really a computer virus, and more a statement about social engineering than actual programming skill), and it got your boot sector, you had no fancy system restore, you’d have to reformat and re-install.

    Computer users today have it easy.

    • Mux

      Oh yes, I remember those days. However, now we still use batch files to do some common tasks such as mapping drives, issuing shutdown commands, xcopy and various stuff.

  • Mux

    I don’t understand the issue. All versions of windows prior to Windows 95 never had a start button. The issues back then were not about the interface but the overall performance of Windoze.

  • pubringjuandelacruz

    Time and again… how many times did I wrote in this space that don’t use that picture anymore… The man in that picture is not connect anymore to Microsoft. There are lots of picture of Steve Ballmer in the net why don’t use those?

  • generalproblem

    at least nagising na ang microsoft sa kanilang katangahan na ang software nila ay di pwede sa pc at tablet. wala talaga silang binatbat sa IOS ng apple na pwede sa lahat

  • Meow Ming

    I don’t know why they can’t adopt without the “start” button? I just bought and installed win 8 pro recently and I don’t have any problem with the new GUI.

    • generalproblem

      windows 7 is better if use in PC. in tablet windows 8 is ok.

      • pubringjuandelacruz

        that depends on your definition of “better”. been using windows 8 for a year now… no BSOD since then… Its running in Intel Core 2 duo with 4GB memory. :)

    • pubringjuandelacruz

      LOL! true… people were afraid to see the “Start” button disappear. They don’t like Microsoft to look like Apple. You don’t see Start button in Apple, instead, a desktop with a Menu bar on top. :)

  • maximus_meridius

    Windows 8 is no good. It’s confusing. WIndows 7 is better.

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