Microsoft Hands Over Windows 8.1 To Manufacturers

Microsoft releases the RTM version of Windows 8.1 to partners

Microsoft has made Windows 8.1 available to its manufacturing partners ahead of the update’s consumer release on 18 October.

A preview version was released in June, but by releasing the ready to market (RTM) version now, PC and tablet makers will be able to work on Windows 8.1 products to be released in time for the lucrative Christmas period.

Windows 8.1 promises a host of improvements to the operating system, which has received a mixed reception since it was launched last year and has failed in both its twin aims of reviving flagging PC sales and significantly expanding Microsoft’s share of the tablet market.

Windows 8.1 release

Windows 8.1 StartEarly adopters have complained of usability options, while enterprises are seemingly uninterested in migrating to the platform, preferring to move to the older Windows 7.

Windows 8.1 adds a number of improvements, including enhanced applications, Internet Explorer 11 and the return of the start button, but not the start menu. But despite the continued omission of the start menu, Microsoft insists Windows 8.1 was developed in response to customer feedback and it has no regrets about some of the controversial changes implemented in Windows 8.

“Thanks, in part, to customer feedback and an unparalleled level of collaboration across product teams, Windows 8.1 is a significant update,” said Antoine LeBlond, senior vice president at Microsoft.

“As we consider the code we just handed off, and the new intuitive and fluid computing experience it provides – any time, anywhere, across all devices – we’re confident we made the right bet in continuing our vision and following through on our commitment to rapid innovation and responsive engineering.”

The announcement comes just days after long-serving Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced he would retire from his position within the next 12 months.

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