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Microsoft has just confirmed that its upcoming Windows 8.1 will begin rolling out on 17th October to consumers, which ties in nicely with previous reports. The update, which will hit the various markets across the world periodically over the course of the 24 hours thereafter, brings a whole host of small changes from Windows 8 that collectively make for a better overall user experience.

There’s no doubt that quite a few people were not expecting, were not ready, and do not like Windows 8. Microsoft had spent years building up an operating system, which, after a few, hit-and-miss releases, looked to have finally matured with Windows 7. However, in its hasted attempt to adapt to the fast-moving mobile game, Windows 8 was created with touch-based devices in mind, and of the majority still on desktop, quite a few were markedly unimpressed.

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To its credit, though, the software maker has sought to address some of the prominent issues in Windows 8, with the resulting release being Windows 8.1. It certainly helps, given the relatively strong backlash against Windows 8, that Microsoft has altered its release cycles to these somewhat incremental, annual updates, rather than the 4-5 year waiting periods we’ve seen in times passed. This has enabled Microsoft to quickly and efficiently make the necessary changes, while also generally improving stability and performance as a service pack would.

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Naturally, the leap from a release named Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 makes the forthcoming version sound like a rebranded service pack, but with better usability, performance tweaks and an abundance of small-but-effective features added, the free upgrade should go down a lot better than the preceding version.

Win 81  Screen  Collection

With the 17th October confirmed as the worldwide release date, now we play the waiting game. Fall is, without fail, the biggest season in the tech calendar, and alongside Windows 8.1, we are also looking very much forward to seeing what kinds of new and exciting Windows 8.x devices some of the big vendors will be throwing out in the wake of next month’s IFA electronics show in Berlin, Germany.

We’ll be sure to keep you updated on any interesting news and rumors pertaining Windows 8.1, so stay tuned to our coverage here at Redmond Pie!

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