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.
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.
I do have to tell people that Windows 8 will drive them nuts until they organize it perfectly for them and get rid of the stuff they don't use a lot from the main screen. Once that's done, then everything jives nicely... otherwise it'll drive anybody into the loony bin. Windows 8.1 is MUCH better... at least the preview that I've been running is.