Microsoft is currently hard at work on Windows 8.1, the first ever refresh of its flagship operating system. But this is the final stretch of development and the software titan is set to officially complete development of the OS next week.

That is when the RTM version of Windows 8.1 is expected to be shipped to OEMs. But even though the past few weeks have seen a couple of builds leak out to general public, Redmond remains pretty mum on these testing builds

And now a new report is claiming that OEMs are expecting a new version this week, which will quite likely be the final testing version of the operating system.

Even though this is not a confirmed report, it does make sense when you consider the fact that Windows 8.1 is on track to reach the RTM development phase before the end of the month.

And while it is hard to tell whether Microsoft plans to make any last minute overhauls or major changes to the future Windows 8.1 builds, chances are that the software titan would quite possibly focus on fixing bugs and optimizing performance.

The just leaked version 9477 does seem quite close to how the RTM version will look, after all.

Some slight enhancements to icons, live tiles and the built-in apps are a very valid possibility, but on the whole Windows 8.1 will probably remain unchanged until it officially launched on October 18.

Word is that Redmond is trying to give its hardware partners enough of a time to develop products that will be powered by Windows 8.1. The company has made no secret of its desire to see Windows 8.1 pave way for a new wave of products, including new tablets, laptops and convertibles.

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