Microsoft Confirms Windows 8.1 Launch on October 18

It's official; Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 8.1 will be released no later than October 18 in all parts of the world. With international time zone differences, 12:00 a.m. in New Zealand means that North Americans will see the release at 4:00 a.m. pacific and 7:00 a.m. eastern on October 17.

Microsoft also confirmed that Windows 8.1 will also be appearing at retail and on new devices on that very same day.

Want to know more on what to expect from this next version of Windows? Check out our Windows 8.1 preview in pictures here.

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  • signothorn
    I tried windows 8 and didn't care for the interface, in great part because I'm quite ADHD and looking at a wall of tiles drives me crazy. It felt like I was spending more time fiddling around through the navigation of Windows8 than enjoying games on my custom PC and 32 inch non-touchscreen display. I installed classic shell and enjoyed it a lot more, but the AMD drivers didn't appear to be prepared for W8.1 for gaming, I had all kinds of problems, so I went back to W7. I gave W8 a fair shot, but as far as the interface goes, I think it was the answer to a question that was never asked. I may try it again later when it's a more stable and user friendly experience, but I'll W8 on using W8....
  • ubercake
    Even without the start button, you can right click in the bottom left corner of the desktop screen in the Windows 8 desktop interface to pull up the start menu they show in the image above. The cosmetic addition of the button will be more intuitive, but you still can't see your installed programs menu this way.

    You also have no search box in the desktop interface which is incredibly useful for finding programs or files.

    Most of the benefits seem to be in making the Metro interface somewhat more usable for desktop users (ie being able to run more than 2 apps in a 75/25 split) and fooling those who do prefer using the desktop interface on the desktop into thinking the update makes the desktop more like Windows 7.
  • ssdpro
    "Sort of" is accurate. Windows 8.1 is an improvement; I still prefer to choose and not have critical functionality decided for me. After testing 8.1 I think I can finally buy a new laptop. I had to put off that purchase for a year because I didn't want to downgrade the OS to 7.