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By 10 July 2013 | Categories: news

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Software behemoth Microsoft has announced that the forthcoming update to Windows 8 - Windows 8.1 - will be available in release to manufacturing form for its original equipment manufacturer partners during late August. This basically means that Windows 8.1 will ship on new PCs, notebooks, and tablets in time for the holiday shopping season.

The news was revealed by Microsoft’s Windows chief marketing officer and chief financial officer, Tami Reller, at the company’s 2013 Worldwide Partner Conference, currently underway in Houston, Texas.

Reller also asserted that Windows 8 sales were doing well, with the desktop, notebook, and tablet operating system recently surpassing the 100 million milestone for licences sold. In addition, the latest figures from data analytics company Net Applications, recently revealed that Windows 8 is powering more computers worldwide than Windows Vista.

Microsoft stated that additional info on Windows 8.1 will be shared within the coming months, which also entails the update process for users utilising Windows 8. A preview of Windows 8.1 (promo video posted below) is already available on Microsoft’s website.

Some of the improvements included within Windows 8.1 are the return of the Start button (of sorts), ability to boot straight into the desktop mode, more user interface customisations and Miracast, which is the ability to stream HD video and audio over Wi-Fi to another display such as an HDTV.

In related news, gamers who are not yet sure as to which next generation gaming console - either Microsoft’s Xbox One or Sony’s PlayStation 4 - to purchase this holiday season, check out our head-to-head comparison here.

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