It is official, folks! Mark your calendars for October 18. Microsoft has just announced that it will be official launching Windows 8.1 on a balmy Friday morning on October 18.

Users will be able to grab the new OS via Windows Store, as well as from retail outlets.

Windows 8.1 is the first of Microsoft’s new rhythmic release cycle, and Redmond’s efforts to release updates to the Windows platform on a yearly basis. And as announced earlier, the OS will be offered as a free upgrade to users who have already installed Windows 8.

Brandon LeBlanc of Microsoft announced the good news in a blog post:

“I know a lot of folks are eager to find out when they will be able to get Windows 8.1. I am excited to share that starting at 12:00am on October 18th in New Zealand (that’s 4:00am October 17th in Redmond), Windows 8.1 will begin rolling out worldwide as a free update for consumers on Windows 8 through the Windows Store.

Windows 8.1 will also be available at retail and on new devices starting on October 18th by market. So mark your calendars!”

The first upgrade to Redmond’s flagship platform, Windows 8.1 is set to address many of the user complaints Microsoft has received regarding Windows 8. Microsoft has on more than one occasion emphasized that this new OS is proof that it is listening to consumer feedback.

Boxed copies of Windows 8.1 are also expected to hit the store shelves soon after the official launch date. The only question that remains is whether Microsoft is planning as much fanfare as it prepared for the launch of Windows 8 late last year.

What about you guys? Are you game for Windows 8.1? Let everyone know in the comments!

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  • Superade

    I’m well up for that big fat weather tile. Bring it on.

  • Charles V Brown Jr

    8.1 has a few enhancements but is still very Apple-like in its approach to user request – i.e. adding a Start Button that does not bring back the Start Menu.

    • Rodney Longoria

      Why would they bring back the Start Menu when they really want to do away with the Desktop completely anyway?

      • Bart

        The start menu isn’t needed anyway. I don’t see why so many say Microsoft is doing away with the desktop. It is still there and will be for many more years to come. The desktop allows for all your existing programs to work as before. The modern UI is for a common interface throughout the different hardware like phones, tablets and desktops. Many corporate programs have web interface or a client install option when added functionality is needed. This makes it so it wouldn’t be too extreme to create it as an app for the Modern UI.
        The modern UI is in Server 2012 also but the emphasis there is Servercore with PowerShell management.

        • Charles V Brown Jr

          With no disrespect intended to you, your first sentence is so Apple’s Father Knows Best and so “1984” — Big Brother (Microsoft) is Watching Me and he doesn’t believe I need a Start Menu. The Metro UI is great on my Tablet/Phone and I praise Microsoft for it but on my Desktop with dual monitors, I and many vocal others have repeatedly indicated that we WANT A START MENU even if Big Brother doesn’t think it is necessary.

          PS I use Stardock’s Start8 as a Start Menu replacement … should I mention that 8.1 broke Start8 and required a update from Stardock — oh yeah, I almost forgot, Big Brother doesn’t think I need a Start Menu and is actively working to prevent me from having that option! It really is more than just the Start Menu option that is the problem but that is a long discussion best suited for another type of venue.

          • Rodney Longoria

            Heh! Charles, one thing I’m NOT, is pro-Apple anything. I don’t even have iTunes installed on my laptop. I just see the writing on the wall. And no disrespect taken. 🙂

          • Bart

            For anyone that want the old start menu there are programs already created for it. I have Windows 8 and don’t need the menu since the Modern UI gives everything I need. Even the start icon isn’t needed. You can move the mouse 1/8″ further or use the Windows key on your keyboard for the same result. The search is very effective for finding any program with a few clicks of the keyboard. If a person doesn’t know the programs name then they need to stick looking for the icons.
            Microsoft is moving toward a consistent interface. Did Stardock make an update if not then that is on them not Microsoft? When Vista and Windows 7 came out many people selected the classic interface due to resistance to change. Now I rarely see anyone with classic menu and they are not still complaining. If someone is only able to work with the old start menu they should stay with Windows 7 or XP or move over to Linux or Apple.

          • Ray C

            I agree. A lot of people don’t like new looks. When XP first came out, I used to use Classic theme myself. Some people do it with Windows 7. The issue is sometimes when you change the theme or interface, you always change how features work or don’t work. Now that’s not to say I don’t understand people’s issue with Metro because they need to continue to streamline it, but I think a lot of people are complaining just to complain.

          • Ray C

            Well, that’s probably your best option. But do you know a lot of people who were using the start menu heavily? Not arguing just asking. Most people I run into used the desktop or task bar 2 or 3 times as much as start menu if not more. It’s not about MS being Big Brother. Most companies would release an update to keep people from changing the basic way their software works. I and many vocal others have said they are fine without start menu as well. And the ones who are vocal about wanting it back, I wonder if we installed tracking software on every computer they use, what numbers would it report for how often they access the start menu. A lot of the people complaining, not saying you or your people, were using it less than people who say they’re not missing it.

          • Charles V Brown Jr

            You make good points … But it is the “Big Brother” or “Father Knows Best” mindset that I should not have the option of using the Start Menu — just like Jobs believed we should not have the option of using Flash on iOS.

          • Ray C

            We can see it as “Father Knows Best” but no company can please every body. No matter what the product is, at some point, at least one one feature, all companies are going to say “this is the way we think it makes the best product.” If companies tried to satisfy every customer preference, I don’t know how products would ever get out. And we all know that there is a big difference between what some people say and what they do. Many times polls say one thing, and the actual results say something else.

        • Rodney Longoria

          LOL! Bart, I’m not SUGGESTING that Microsoft do away with anything, just merely making an observation based upon tons of others here and there. But I fear it not (losing the desktop). There are plenty of scenarios where there are solutions to not using it at all, wanted or not. With built-in VM (Hyper-V), for instance.

          • Bart

            No problem. I see comments about Microsoft moving away from the desktop but I don’t see it happening. Sure maybe on the RT. With RT the problem is people expected a full Windows but that was not the case. If the Surface Pro came out first then RT came out 8-9 months later as a cheaper alternative it would have sold better. The initial sales were poor since most people wanted to wait on the Pro model.

          • Ray C

            I kind of agree. Maybe Pro should have come out first or Windows 8 should have come out before the Surface.

          • Bart

            Windows 8 came out with the Surface. It went hand in hand with the exception of the delay for the Pro model.

          • Ray C

            Yeah but it just seemd like a lot for people to get used to at one time. All these products coming out and once and no one really knowing the difference between 1 or the other.

          • Bart

            So true. Now we get to wait for what new devices will come out preloaded with 8.1.

  • Rodney Longoria

    Well that sucks, as I was sort of expecting it to become available much sooner ― like at the end of THIS month or the beginning of next month. So I’m bummed about this. That said, I can understand why the delay (writing drivers, debugging, etc.), and it makes sense to release it the same month new OS’s usually are released. Let’s just hope it is worth the wait, eh!

    • Fahad Ali

      My thoughts exactly! I am sure it will be worth the wait. 🙂

  • cwoxford

    Wow how exciting I don’t think!
    It can be seen from the update the MS does not listen to it’s customers, Only pays lip service to the vast majority.

    • Ray C

      Outside of the start menu what other suggestion has not been listened to in your opinion?

      • cwoxford

        As per my earlier comments on the subject of Windows 8. Two systems in one as windows 3.1 shown by two internet explorers which are not compatible. Pushing “Touch” at the expense of keyboard and mouse. Not giving users the choice of either a touch or standard desktop system. In my daily work I find that the majority of people want standard desktop styles as in windows 7 not the ‘metro’ version as in windows 8. It is a shame that MS has not listened to it’s customers but has decided on the “we know best” approach. But there we are that’s the way MS has been going for some time not. I have no doubt that when they are no longer the force in the industry that they have been, excuses will be made and it won’t be their fault but everyone else’s.
        I have used Windows 8 from earlier beta version as I have done with most of MS’s software. I do believe there could have a middle ground to suit all. Now with the RT tablet not selling as expected and HTC amongst others dropping windows 8 I wonder how long it will be before MS comes out with another revised and different version!

        • cwoxford

          Bye the way I have no problems with those who like windows 8 or those who don’t. I am commenting on what I have found through using it and also for those who I return to windows 7 because they don’t like it. Everyone has their own opinion and I wouldn’t deride anyone for that 🙂

        • Bart

          How is it that people don’t have choice or touch or a standard desktop? It is the same OS and the keyboard and mouse work fine. To have touch options it is not a change in the OS it is having a touch screen capable interface. I have Windows 8 on my desktop using a keyboard and mouse and do not have touch screen monitor. I haven’t found anything that I can’t do.
          The Modern UI doesn’t control people in any way. It is a menu system that also include apps. Everyone still has the choice of what they will run or not run. All existing programs that work for Windows 7 work on the Windows 8 desktop the same way.

  • Vadivelan A

    Really Exciting frnds!!!!!!!!!!!!!…. I hope MS will rectify their small bugs in windows 8.1 preview….

  • TheDaleks

    I’ve had some minor glitches in the beta preview of 8.1, but it’s otherwise pretty good. Well, OK, one glitch was pretty big: yesterday, it wouldn’t let me log into one of my user accounts, and it took multiple cold boots to get it fixed. Even after rebooting and deleting temp files, it still threw an error of “too many system resources in use”. I’m still not sure what exterminated the problem.

  • Ray C

    I had Windows 8 on my work laptop, then I installed the 8.1 Preview. I’m looking forward to the 8.1 release. I know a lot of people who’ve purchased a new laptop over the last 2 or 3 weeks, and they like Windows 8. I’ve let them play around with my laptop, so they can see some of the differences in 8.1.
    The start menu is not coming back. It’s kind of a shame some people just can’t get used to it, and just look at ways the new interface can work for them or Microsoft can improve it in the future. People keep yelling “they’re not listening to customers,” but just because a company or person doesn’t take 100% of your advice it doesn’t mean they’re not listening. If they weren’t listening at all there would be no real changes between 8 and 8.1. I give people advice all the time. If I tell them 10 things, and they only take my advice on 6, I don’t say they didn’t listen. The start menu is one element of Windows. There were more parts to Windows than the start menu. Why continue to focus on this one thing, especially considering that many people were likely using it less.

    • cwoxford

      So if Microsoft had changed the interface back to Windows 7 style albeit as bland as it is now in windows 8, you would not say that they were not listening to you or the others who prefer the windows 8 style?

      • Bart

        If Microsoft did change the interface back to Windows 7 style only then they would ruin it for those that do like Windows 8.

      • Ray C

        I would say they were making a decision that was completely unnecessary. But if they were to decide that a Windows 7 interface was best for the product, I would do the same thing I do with the new one. I would give feedback on what I like about it, and how it could be improved. I wouldn’t get on like some and say ” I’m not using it until they change it back to the new way.” And even if I did prefer the Windows 7 look, I wouldn’t be like some who say silly things like “it’s good now but I’m not going to use it because I’m too mad about them even having the idea to change it in the first place.” And it’s honestly not preferring the Windows 8 style. It’s about the fact that it’s highly unlikely that Microsoft will ever go back to the Pre-Windows 8 style, the same way they were not going to go back to Windows 3.x style. It’s about moving forward. At the end of the day, the start menu or the start screen is just an interface to launch applications. There is still on OS running under it. Whatever can’t be done can be made to be done. Whatever is hard can be simplified at some point. The style hasn’t changed completely in almost 20 years, but at the same time Windows 7 was a long way away from Windows 95. Even if Microsoft hadn’t created Metro, and decided that the interface for Widows 8 would basically be what Windows 8 desktop mode is, I would be of the same opinion. If they’re not going back, and they’ve said 0% of that happening, all we can do is go with that and move forward. I would also still believe that to a degree companies should still have some rights to decide things about their products. We can give our options, but we can’t decide 100% of things about a product. Heck, they’d never be able to satisfy everyone. I didn’t like the idea of Metro when I first heard about it, but the first time I used WIndows 7 after using Windows 8 I realized I was barely using the start menu and neither were most people I know.

  • daler5150

    Hey guys. Just think of the Start Screen as the desktop with all your icons. Mmm.

  • Edward Allen

    I tried the 8.1 Release preview and I had problems with it. I am sure that Microsoft can eliminate the bugs before the final release date.

  • Sam

    Will Win 8.1 be on new computers at that time too?

  • tullphd

    Lunar phase on 18 October 2013 Friday is Full Moon.
    The moon is in zodiac sign Aries .

    • Stevie D

      And therefore???

  • tullphd

    Microsoft leaders and planners utilize
    – Electional astrology, also known as event astrology, is a branch found in most
    traditions of astrology in which a practitioner decides the
    most appropriate time for an event based on the astrological auspiciousness of that time. It is distinct from horary astrology because, while horary astrologers seek
    to find the answer to a question based on the time the question was asked,
    electional astrologers seek to find a period of time which will result in the
    most preferable outcome for the event being planned.

    Historically being used primarily
    to plan battles, electional astrology has been used by its proponents to plan a
    number of events, including weddings and trips.


    A rudimentary form of electional astrology was used by the
    Babylonians beginning sometime after the 16th century BCE. This and other
    Babylonian forms of astrology were passed on to the Persians, Egyptians, and
    Indians; although the Indians were the group that made the most use of it. Early
    Vedic astrologers also used a sophisticated form of electional astrology known
    as Muhurta (Muhurat)
    that was used for choosing the start of yajnas, travel, warfare,
    marriage and even filmmaking (muhurat shot)

    Modern electional astrology, as well as most other astrology, can
    in general be traced directly back to Book 5 of Dorotheus’s treatises on the
    subject. This is the oldest treatise on electional astrology.


    Main article

    In electional astrology, an astrologer is given an event the quitrent intends to plan. The astrologer then finds a date and time
    most auspicious for the event to take place, around which the querent bases the
    following plans. The method of coming to these conclusions is based on the
    relative positions of stars, planets and other celestial bodies at various
    times. Each celestial body’s placement means something particular to the
    tradition the individual astrologer is using, in combination with the natal chart of the quitrent.


    Elections, or predictions for auspicious times, are usually
    divided into three branches, which are used depending on the type of event
    being planned.

    Radical elections

    Radical elections rest on the assumption that an election should
    be performed primarily based on the natal
    chart of the quitrent or person for whom the
    election is being performed. An underlying assumption of radical elections is
    that, because each person was born under different astrological conditions, the
    most auspicious time to hold an event will be different for each

    Mundane elections

    Mundane elections involve using prominent in force at the
    time for which the election is made.

    Ephemeral elections

    The most commonly used and distinctive form of election is the
    ephemeral election. These involve picking a date for an event based on the
    position of the celestial bodies in the sky at the moment of the event. Most of
    the time, when a person is talking about electional astrology, that person is
    referring to ephemeral elections. They can be described as “a horary
    chart set for a certain time in the future.”