Windows 8.1 Is Done, Ready For Release

Windows 8.1 Is Done, Ready For Release

Microsoft says it has started sending the code for Windows 8.1 to its hardware partners to install on new PCs and tablets in time for the official public debut on Oct. 18. Microsoft confirmed earlier reports by publishing the news on its official blog today, and it’s a major step since this means that laptop and tablet makers will now be able to begin creating devices with the final build of software. At this point, no other major changes will be added to Windows 8.1.

This milestone, know as RTM (release to manufacturing), once meant that the software was done. Not anymore.

That doesn’t mean you can install it now, unfortunately. Microsoft will still require end users to wait until Oct. 18 to install Windows 8.1, when it says that its ecosystem with new apps and agreements will finally be in place. Consumers in the U.S. will be able to install the software on Oct. 17, as the official launch date is actually scheduled on New Zealand time. A preview of the operating system was published in June, though it may still contain bugs and lack final features, such as integration with Skype out of the box.

Thanks to customer feedback and "an unparalleled level of collaboration across product teams," Windows 8.1 has reached the release-to-manufacturing (RTM) stage "in a very short time," said Antoine Leblond, Microsoft's corporate VP of Windows Program Management, in a statement. He noted that the upgrade will reach OEMs only 10 months after Windows 8 launched, adding that manufacturers will soon offer new Windows devices that range from "the smallest tablets to the most lightweight notebooks to versatile 2-in-1s, as well as industry devices designed for business."

Windows 8.1, codenamed "Blue," is introducing a number of changes designed to make the new operating system more palatable to current Windows users. Windows 8.1 is adding a Start Button, a boot-straight-to-desktop option; the ability to unpin all Metro apps; built-in tutorials; an improved Windows Store and a host of other consumer- and business-focused features.

Microsoft said it worked closer than ever with its partners on the release and that those partners will begin releasing new products with Windows 8.1 just before the holidays.

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Write by: RC - Tuesday, August 27, 2013

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