Microsoft blogger Brandon LeBlanc wrote on the Windows Blog that Windows 8.1 (codenamed Windows Blue) will be available as a free update to all Windows 8 users. The update is expected to become available later this year and will be downloadable through the Windows Store. LeBlanc also confirmed that a public preview of Windows 8.1 will be available starting June 26.
Today at the JP Morgan Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in Boston, Tami Reller shared with the audience that the update previously referred to as “Windows Blue” will be called Windows 8.1and will be a free update to Windows 8 for consumers through the Windows Store.
During her remarks today, Tami reiterated our goal of delivering continual updates to create a richer experience for Windows customers. Windows 8.1 is part of that and continues the journey we first began with Windows 8 last fall. Windows 8.1 will help us to deliver the next generation of PCs and tablets with our OEM partners and to deliver the experiences customers— both consumers and businesses alike —need and will just expect moving forward.
Today, there are more devices – and choice – allowing you to pick the right Windows 8 device that meets your needs. Windows 8 provides a great experience for consuming and creating content, for both work and play and on the go. And you’ll immediately benefit from continual updates – whether it’s from app updates through the Windows Store, performance updates through Windows Update or the Windows 8.1 update later this year.
Windows 8.1 is rumored to bring back the Start button and boot-to-desktop, as well as introduce an updated Charms Bar and enhanced multi-monitor support.