CONFIRMED – Windows 8.1 Ships in August 2013

Despite the bugs they’re currently touting as features, according to Microsoft, Windows 8.1 is on track to ship in August of 2013.


If there’s one thing that I really like about MaryJo Foley, its that she has her fingers on the pulse that is Microsoft’s life blood. She knows what’s going on and is kind enough to share it with the rest of us. I’ve had a number of conversations with her and I’ve always found her to be if not 100% dead-on-right, at least accurate enough to help me stay current and relevant.

I saw an article earlier this week (Monday 2013-07-08) where MJF is confirming information that had been previously leaked by “individuals close to the situation.” Windows 8.1, code named, “Blue,” despite its bugs, is still on target to ship before the end of August 2013.

Also interestingly enough, the GA (general availability) – i.e. availability to consumers already running Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 Preview – of the new OS is said to be either same day as its released to manufacturing and to OEM partners, or shortly there after (meaning days and not weeks or months).  This type of behavior is unusual for Microsoft who normally schedules GA for 4-8 weeks after any specific software title RTM’s. Perhaps this has something to do with the retirement of TechNet. Perhaps it doesn’t.  Either way, its still a very interesting change in behavior.

So, if you’ve got Windows 8.1 Consumer Preview installed, you won’t have it installed for long; and you’re going to need to rebuild your machine in order to install the production bits.

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Windows 8 Developer Preview now available to download

As you may heard, Microsoft has released its official Windows 8 Developer Preview Build for PCs and tablets. Now let’s see what’s this version all about. First of all, let me tell you that this is a pre-beta version of Windows 8 – currently in beta status – and is not even close for daily usage. In fact, it is meant to be used by developers who are looking to make apps for the desktop and tablet OS. However, considering that no developer registration or anything like that is needed, anyone can download and install the new OS.

Apart from the major new changes such as a the cool “Picture Login Feature” (which allows users to login into their computers simply using a picture of their choice), Windows 8 has a lot new smaller features and functionality. Take a look at the highlights…

Windows 8 system requirements (same as Win 7):

  • 1GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1GB RAM (32-bit) / 2GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 16GB available disk space (32-bit) / 20GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM (Windows Display Driver Model) 1.0 or higher driver

Best elements out of the Windows 8 keynote (for me):

  • Under 10 seconds boot time
  • Virus, Malware and Rootkit boot level protection and Full expanded Windows Defender with Antivirus and Anti-malware
  • Low memory footprint (around 280 MB on startup versus 400MB for Windows 7 )
  • Touchscreen password unlock
  • New low-power stand-by mode
  • New Restore, Refresh and Reset (clean up Windows 8 and keep what you need or return to out-of-box)
  • App Store
  • Sync Settings across multiple devices (via cloud)
  • Better Task Manager
  • Email notifications on Lock Screen

There are more, I’m sure, but this is what I really like the most. Below you’ll find the  official details of the MS press release…

Touch-First User Interface

  • Metro style. Windows 8 introduces a new Metro style interface built for touch, which shows information important to you, embodies simplicity and gives you control. The Metro style UI is equally at home with a mouse and keyboard as well.
  • Touch-first browsing, not just browsing on a touch device. Providing a fast and fluid touch-browsing experience, Internet Explorer 10 puts sites at the center on new Windows 8 devices.

More Ways to Engage With Powerful, Connected Apps

  • Powered by apps. Metro style apps built for Windows 8 are the focal point of your experience, filling your entire screen so there are no distractions.
  • Apps can work together. Apps communicate with each other in Windows 8. For example, you can easily select and email photos from different places, such as Facebook, Flickr or on your hard drive.
  • Your experience syncs across your devices. Live roams all the content from the cloud services you use most — photos, email, calendar and contacts — keeping them up-to-date on your devices. With SkyDrive, you can access your files, photos and documents from virtually anywhere with any browser or with Metro style apps in Windows 8.

Enhanced Fundamentals

  • The best of Windows 7, only better. Windows 8 is built on the rock-solid foundation of Windows 7, delivering improvements in performance, security, privacy and system reliability. Windows 8 reduces the memory footprint needed — even on the lowest-end hardware — leaving more room for your apps.
  • Preserving power-user favorites and making them better. For those who push the limits of their PC, Windows 8 features an enhanced Task Manager and Windows Explorer and new, flexible options for multimonitor setups.

New Developer Opportunities

  • Windows Store. The Windows Store will allow developers to sell their apps anywhere Windows is sold worldwide, whether they’re creating new games or familiar productivity tools.
  • Build using more languages. Windows 8 lets you leverage your existing skills and code assets to create great experiences using the programming language you prefer.
  • Rich hardware integration leads to richer experiences — particularly for games. DirectX 11 gaming power underlies Windows 8, allowing the easy creation of full-screen games with smooth, flicker-free action.

New Generation of Hardware

  • One Windows — many shapes and sizes. Support for ARM-based chipsets, x86 (as well as x32 and x64) devices, touch and sensors means Windows 8 works beautifully across a spectrum of devices, from 10-inch tablets and laptops to all-in-ones with 27-inch high-definition screens.
  • Always connected. With Windows 8, new ultrathin PCs and tablets turn on instantly, run all day on a single charge and stay connected to the Internet so your PC is ready when you are. Next-generation system on a chip (SoC) support will also enable greatly extended standby and low-power states.
  • Tap the full power of your PC. Windows 8 runs on PCs and is compatible with the devices and programs you use today on Windows 7, without compromise, to deliver the performance you expect of a PC.

Download Windows 8 Developer Preview (32/64-bit)

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