Ten months after the company launched what can be described as one of the most controversial releases of its Windows operating system, Microsoft has announced the RTM (release to manufacture) status of its new Windows 8.1 update. The new point release will be released for general use on October 18.
However, in a departure from its normal stance, Microsoft has decided it will hold off the new update from its professional MSDN and TechNet subscribers until the October 18 general release date.
In a blog post on its Blogging Windows page, Antoine Leblond says that as of August 28, user experience is the key for the company as it works towards the October 18 date. That said, it’s unclear what the company can do to modify or even improve the operating system at this stage after it has been released to manufacturers.
While commenters to the post are vocal in their disapproval of the TechNet/MSDN release delay, Microsoft claims that its having to work closer with its hardware partners than ever before. That maybe the case, but it seems not to include those TechNet/MSDN subscribers who expected to be able to download Windows 8.1 RTM today.
Microsoft launched its latest Windows 8 operating system at the back end of 2012 to equal parts bricks and bouquets with the software giant’s controversial decision to remove the commonly-recognised Start button and menu system. Claiming to have listened to user feedback, the company is expected to reintroduce the Start button to the Windows 8.1 update, however, that button will likely only launch a modified Modern UI start page, not the traditional Start menu system in previous Windows releases.
The company has previously said that Windows 8.1 will be available free to all Windows 8 users via the Windows 8 Microsoft store.
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