updated 10:38 am EDT, Wed August 14, 2013
Global roll-out of free Windows 8 update just before launch anniversary
Microsoft has revealed the date for when it will release its free major operating system update for Windows 8. Confirming earlier rumors, Microsoft will start offering downloads of Windows 8.1 from October 18th at 12am in New Zealand, or 4am on October 17th in Redmond, with the update globally available to download through the Windows Store.
The release date confirmed by the Windows blog is just over a week before the first anniversary of Windows 8's own release. The final Release To Manufacturing edition in theory should be with PC manufacturers in the next few weeks, with devices running the new version set to go on sale at retail from the 18th of October onwards.
Windows 8.1 will bring a number of changes to the operating system, including alterations to the Metro-style Start Screen, the return of the Start button, new lock screen options, and changes to the way that users can snap applications to part of the desktop.