.Infotech Lead America: Microsoft has unveiled the latest releases of Windows 8 – Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 to its hardware partners.
The new OS update brings an even greater unified experience for customers. The new intuitive and fluid computing experience is designed to support “anytime, anywhere, across all devices,” concept says a new blog from Microsoft.
Microsoft is preparing to make the new OS generally available on October 18.
The announcement comes after 10 months of the release of Windows 8. The release to manufacturing (RTM) milestone traditionally meant that the software was ready for broader customer use.
“As such, we’ve had to evolve the way we develop and the time in which we deliver to meet customers with the experience they need, want and expect. We’ve had to work closer to our hardware partners than ever before. Reaching this milestone is about optimizing the overall experience for our customers,” the blog said.
With this release, Microsoft’s hardware partners are in a position to prepare the wide array of innovative devices our customers can expect later this fall – just in time for the holidays. This release will help bring new, powerful devices from the smallest tablets to the most lightweight notebooks to versatile 2-in-1s, as well as industry devices designed for business, Microsoft says.
On October 18, Windows 8.1 will be broadly available for commercial customers with or without volume licensing agreements, its broad partner ecosystem, subscribers to MSDN and TechNet, as well as consumers.
In the new release, Microsoft is trying to address some of the issues faced by users in the first release. It is believed that Microsoft is adding something very close to the Windows 7 Start button, which the company took away in Windows 8.
Other modifications expected in Windows 8.1 include improvements between the new Modern interface and the more traditional Windows 7-like desktop, which lets users run legacy applications. Users will also be able to make Skype calls while the screen is in Lock mode without having to log in.
In Windows 8.1, users will also be able to view all the applications installed on their device and sort them by name, date installed, most used or category. The new OS will also feature Internet Explorer 11, a new version of Microsoft’s browser that the company has said will load pages faster and offer better performance in touchscreen mode.