Microsoft is currently preparing Windows 8.1 "Blue" for a full reveal at its June Build developers' conference, but those heavily anticipating the details of the Windows 8 update are in for a treat.
The Windows 8.1 update is going to be free.
Microsoft's Windows CFO Tami Reller confirmed the news on Tuesday, when she spoke at JP Morgan's Media and Telecom Conference, according to Yahoo News. She also confirmed that the update, formerly known as "Windows Blue," will be officially known as Windows 8.1.
"Windows 8.1 will be delivered as a free update to Windows 8 and to Windows RT and it will be easy to get right from the Windows start screen through the app store," Reller said.
This will be welcome news to Windows 8 adopters who've complained about the new operating system's radical redesign. For those using a Surface Pro, RT, or some other touch-optimized Windows 8 tablet, the OS' Metro Live Tile interface is pretty slick and easy to use. Those on a traditional desktop PC or laptop, however, aren't as happy with the colorful new look. The lack of a Start button in particular has caused an uproar against the OS, to the point that some hardware manufacturers include a third party software app that brings it back.
For Windows 8.1, though, Microsoft said it is listening to complaints and working to address these issues. Rumor has it that the company is planning to bring back the Start button in some form, and that it'll also allow users to boot straight to the desktop, bypassing the Metro screen altogether.
On the touch-screen front, Windows 8.1 will also allow users to customize their Metro screen with more options. You'll be able to make bigger and smaller tiles, split the screen evenly between two apps when multitasking, and access more and more traditional desktop functions through the Tile screen.
All in all, Windows 8.1 is looking like a win-win for both tablet and desktop users, so it's even better that Microsoft is going to give it away for free. It'll definitely be an update you want to grab when it's released later this year.