Its official: Microsoft to push out Windows 8.1 on Oct. 17

Good news for those of you who've been waiting for Microsoft's Windows 8.1 update to hit their device.

Microsoft has officially announced that it will begin rolling out the Windows 8.1 software update via its Windows Store at 4am Pacific Time (7am EST) on Oct. 17. The OS will be pushed out as a free update for Windows 8 users worldwide on this date, will be released to manufacturers on Oct.18 and will then begin shipping on new devices.

"I know a lot of folks are eager to find out when they will be able to get Windows 8.1. I am excited to share that starting at 12:00am on October 18th in New Zealand (that's 4:00am October 17th in Redmond), Windows 8.1 will begin rolling out worldwide as a free update for consumers on Windows 8 through the Windows Store. Windows 8.1 will also be available at retail and on new devices starting on October 18th by market. So mark your calendars!" notes the official Windows Blog.

Microsoft released a public preview of Windows 8.1 back in June this year, giving users the chance to test the software before the final version will be officially pushed out.

Windows Blue aka Windows 8.1 is set to bring several improvements and tweaks, which include the return of the Start Button. Users will now have the option to boot directly to the desktop mode if they so wish. The updated OS will also bring more customizations, new Smart Search function, improved multitasking, as well as a new Windows Store app users' way.

"Windows 8.1 continues the vision we began with Windows 8 and is an example of our commitment to continuous innovation and improvement for our customers. And Windows 8.1 brings many improvements in areas like personalization, Internet Explorer 11, search which is powered by Bing, built-in apps including a few new ones, an improved Windows Store experience, and cloud connectivity with SkyDrive (and much more) that people will enjoy," says Brandon LeBlanc, Senior Marketing Communications Manager at Microsoft.

With Windows 8.1, Microsoft attempts to mend the damage caused by Windows 8. It remains to be seen how this version of the OS fares and if it goes down well with consumers.

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