The first major upgrade to Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, the Windows 8.1 update, is now said to be ready for a mid-October full release, following a period of public preview testing since June.
ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, whose stellar track record has spot-on when it comes to previous Microsoft details, suggested the date, one that would fit nicely considering it’d be almost an exact year since Window 8 first released.
Foley’s report also suggests that brand new Windows 8 hardware will launch alongside the operating system revamp, though no specific manufacturers are mentioned. Microsoft are also expected to be releasing the Release To Manufacturing (RTM) build of Windows 8.1 a little earlier, getting it in the hands of hardware manufacturers to give them a little more time to finalize specific driver details.
The details shared by ZDNet corroborate with a report from The Verge too, who state that Microsoft will be leaving a gap between the general and RTM release schedules in order to ensure patches and drivers are finalised ahead of the general October release.
As we detailed in our preview post earlier this summer, Windows 8.1 will bring a host of new fucntionality to the operating system, inculduing more Start screen customisation options, a revised app store and the return of the Start button on desktop.