Microsoft Windows 8.1 to go RTM ‘end of August’

windows8Microsoft Windows boss Tami Reller today announced at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner conference that its follow-up Windows 8.1 operating system update will be ‘released to manufacture’ (RTM) by the end of August this year.

At the same time, OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) will be able to access the Windows 8.1 release and begin preparing new products for release in time for the festive season, the company announced on its Windows blog today.

It comes on the back of Microsoft releasing a Windows 8.1 Preview a couple of weeks ago, allowing consumers to see what’s changed (and what hasn’t).

One of the new features in Windows 8.1 will be Miracast, which allows high-definition audio and video to be transmitted over Wi-Fi to a connected TV. One of the most talked about features in Windows 8 is the missing Start button. While it makes a welcome return to Windows 8.1, it looks like it doesn’t invoke the same functionality as in Windows 7. The Start button might be there, but the program menu is not. Instead, it looks very much like it launches the Modern UI’ All Apps screen only.

The software giant has previously said the update will be free to Windows 8 users and is expected to be available in new tablets and notebooks by the end of the year. At the same time, Windows RT will also receive a ‘Windows 8.1′ update, ensuring those who purchased Windows RT tablets will not miss out on the improvements.

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