With Windows 8.1 Preview out in the public, attention is slowly shifting towards the final RTM version of Windows 8.1. Details on the retail version of Windows 8.1 are pretty vague right now, but Microsoft has started talking about it, little by little.

The software titan decided to provide more information on the updating process of the upcoming OS.

Previous reports claimed that switching from Windows 8.1 Preview to RTM would result in the removal of all apps and settings. The reason for this is that the migration technologies Microsoft has built into the operating system will only take care of personal data, not apps and OS settings.

And now Redmond has officially confirmed these reports, while explaining that Windows 8.1 Preview is actually aimed at users that want to test the operating system on non-critical computers:

“It’s also important to note that while computers running Windows 8.1 Preview can be updated to the final Windows 8.1 release, this update process will only migrate the data on the device. All applications (from the Windows Store or desktop applications) will need to be reinstalled as part of this process.”

What this means is that Windows 8.1 Preview could potentially come with a number of issues related to stability and performance, which may have a dramatic affect the some systems.

Microsoft also touched upon users of older operating systems. People that are running old versions of Windows like XP, Vista or 7 are recommended by Microsoft to use the built-in migration tools to automate the transition to Windows 8.1 — final RTM version, obviously:

“For those using earlier operating systems, the OS refresh processes implemented by the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and System Center Configuration Manager (or other similar tools) can be used to automate the move to Windows 8.1 while preserving data and settings, and can also install any needed applications as part of that process.”

Windows 8.1 is expected to hit RTM status sometimes next month, while general availability of the operating system could be announced in October, right before the start of the holiday season.

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