Microsoft has announced that Windows 8.1 is set for release on October the 18th 2013 (though it can be downloaded starting the 17th at 7:00 am EST).
It will be available in both digital (through the Windows Store) and physical (at retail stores) form.
Anyone who has downloaded the Windows 8.1 preview (codename blue) pretty much knows exactly what to expect, but for the rest of us there are a wide array of brilliant, along with some curious (to say the least) features that will accompany this new release.
Here’s a look at the changes:
The ability to organize tiles into groups
Users can now log directly into the desktop (instead of the Windows 8 start menu)
Apps on the lock screen
Integrated cloud storage (with Microsoft Skydrive)
Update to the Windows store app (Finally !!)
New start button does not bring up the start menu.
Installed apps are no longer pinned to the start screen by default (you now have to search for them after installation)
Microsoft has also made clear it plans to release new versions of their operating system on a more frequent basis (IOS/Android style).
Microsoft will, more than likely, take an evolutionary approach to updating Windows 8 by putting out smaller updates on a more frequent basis. The tech giant, in keeping with the traditional Windows update cycle, still has plans to release major version updates every couple of years.
Though this new version of Windows still fails to address many of the core issues being touted by many of its users, all things considered, this is still a much needed update to an operating system that, for many reasons, has received a less than stellar response from both the general public and hardcore Windows fans alike.
Stay tuned for my full review of the Windows 8.1 operating system after its official launch on October 18th.