Windows 8.1: Coming to your device Oct. 17th

Perhaps the most anticipated incremental upgrade to an operating system ever – Windows 8.1 – is almost here.

Microsoft said in a blog post Thursday that Windows 8.1 – which will be a free upgrade to existing Windows 8 license holders – will roll out as an update through the Windows store for Windows 8 and Windows RT users On Oct. 17th.

If you want to set your alarm, it will drop at 4:00 am Pacific Time, or 7:00am for those in the Eastern Time zone. If you’re in New Zealand, it’s actually midnight on Oct. 18th.

Devices running Windows 8.1 are also expected to become available in retail on this date.

Windows 8.1 has taken on a lot of importance for Microsoft after it undertook a radical user interface change with Windows 8, compared to Windows 7. Seeking to develop a unified OS across all platforms, from desktops and laptops to tablets and mobile phones – Microsoft developed a new, touch-first user interface. It also got rid of the start button and put the Metro tiled interface up front, just two of several changes that annoyed OS traditionalists.


While it has made clear it won’t abandon this direction, Microsoft is expected to offer some concessions to their OS critics in Windows 8.1.

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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