Windows 8.1 RTM
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Microsoft: Windows 8.1 will hit RTM by August

There’s a few of you reading this on a machine running the Windows 8.1 Preview. How are you liking it so far? The preview for Windows 8.1 hit a little under two weeks ago during the Microsoft //BUILD/ conference. It’s been downloaded, installed, and played with millions of times. It’s also on track to gold in August.

Microsoft has confirmed to ZDNET that Windows 8.1 is on track to RTM by August. Release to manufacturing (RTM), is the stage to last stage in software development. During this stage Windows 8.1 will be sent to manufacturers, who in turn will start mass producing machines pre-installed with the new and refined Windows. Historically, those devices won’t be available for another month or two and will launch side-by-side with the Windows 8.1 bits. Not this time.

Mary Jo Foley reports that her sources indicate that this time around when Windows 8.1 heads off to OEMs around the globe it will also be available to you and me to download and install. Either right when it RTMs or shortly after. So it looks like your new high-end gaming PC won’t need to wait till the end of October to install Windows 8.1.

Source: ZDNET

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TechManiac says:

Maybe September 1st for the users, patience...

Great news Microsoft, wont be temped by torrent downloads!

Eas195 says:

I'll find that one on torrent :P

Acbuono5 says:

Such good news! Can't wait!

sunnybyday says:

What are they going to do with those of us on Win 8.1 preview? Will the RTM version be just a minor update or a full install like other?

pankaj981 says:

My guess is it will be a full clean install

Seeker77 says:

Those using the preview will have to reinstall all of their apps - desktop and Metro.

TechsUK says:

They were very clear on no supported upgrade route. Clean install

jfivieght says:

Clean upgrade post-original Windows 8 reinstall? Could get messy for the average Joes

PolishHitta says:

I doubt that this may be a clean install. After all I've got an update prompt from the Store tile, not an OS install.

numetheus says:

No. They were clear for people installing preview. Upgrade path from 8.1 preview is full install.

incorrect. read my comment just below.

Musicman247 says:

Average Joes are not what the Preview was meant for. Right above the link to download was the disclaimer: "This preview is mainly for experienced PC users, so if you're not sure whether it's right for you, read the FAQ".

nope. They said that user files and settings would be carried over, and that only desktop and metro apps require reinstall, so it appears to be a hybrid of some sorts of an upgrade and clean install.

zeke009 says:

That isn't what was posted. They stated you can install 8.1 Preview and then upgrade to RTM, but you have to reinstall all Metro/Modern/Windows 8 apps as well as all applications installed to the desktop. It's the reason I went with a VM for testing.
 
Info at MS site: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/preview-faq
Question: Will I be able to keep my files, settings, and apps if I install Windows 8.1 Preview?
Read the last line of that answer:

When you install subsequent editions of Windows 8.1 you'll be able to keep your personal files, but you'll need to reinstall your apps.

neo158 says:

For Windows 8 machines using the preview a full reinstall is required, for Windows RT devices using the preview no restore will be necessary as the preview will just upgrade to the final release.

I don't know for sure... I'm sure google will answer your questions, but preview os editions from microsoft typically don't upgrade to the rtm version. They require a fresh install.

I'm guessing this si to save development / testing time... and probably prevents weird bugs / compatibilty issues that would be caused by different DLL versions and such.

PolishHitta says:

And I just installed the 8.1 preview...

Sam Sabri says:

What are your thoughts on it so far? I'm diggint all the tweaks and changes. 

PolishHitta says:

I've been with participating in many Microsoft betas including 7, Vista, Mesh and other small betas they had over the years. I've had the update for 2 days, so I can't say much, but it is definitely a visual change. Love the start customizability so far and the "live" start screen. I'm in Europe on vacation so I'm more focused on beautiful women. Feel free to write me later, and I'll give some ideas about the OS change

romant56 says:

8.1 gets better and better the longer you use it.  I went all in and did a full clean install from USB on my three computers and Asus VivoTabRT (obviously no clean install on that one, but still did a full factory reset).

neo158 says:

I agree, I had to do a reset on my Surface RT though as the 8.1 install borked the machine but it's definitely faster than it was before.

rjhin says:

I am running the Preview on my Surface RT. It definately takes the RT to a different level of functionality for me. Each user will have different things that they value but for me the big addition has been Outlook. Because I am a big Outlook user a know the value that it brings and the short comings of the mail and particularly the hopeless calendar app, Outlook makes a huge difference.
As for the bugs, for me there have been two problems. My machine gives problems to wake up from sleep after an overnight charge. Today in the support forums a user suggested that this might be related to having Outlook open and I am going to close it tonight to see if it makes a difference. The second problem has been intermittent loss of network access due to the stopping of the Wireless Network service. Troubleshooting fixes that but I can experience it about 3 or 4 times a day.
All in all, I think it's a small price to pay to have the higher functionality today.

Stevied1991 says:

My issue is it goes to the mobile site on websites instead of the full site.

PolishHitta says:

A while ago I saw a restriction for Samsung ATIV users.. Now I can't find it.. Anyone else have an idea if a such restriction still exists?

Hands down my favorite feature is the new desktop scaling features for multiple-display users.
 
On my Surface Pro, I can finally hook up an external monitor and not feel like I'm working on a Fisher Price toy, and yet everything on the Pro's display is sharp and big. :)
 
I also like that I can toggle it so that the App Switcher gesture from the left triggers the full app switcher instead of just app-to-app switching.

Raesu says:

Use your left thumb to swipe in then back off the screen again. There is your app switcher.

RayWP7 says:

I found the MUSIC APP far improved but so painfully slow on both my Surface RT and on the desktop I had it installed to (Alienware x51).  To the extent that I've completely uninstalled Windows 8 on the Alienware and put Windows 7 on it.  I'll wait for RTM.  Other than that, it seemed to run smoothly enough on RT.  The Start button on desktop is kind of silly and unecessary, but it is a welcome old-friend; it is unfortunate it doesn't carry its old functionality (i.e. program list) - it only serves as a clickable "go to Win 8 interface" button and as a right-clickable "all my system settings context menu."  I truely wish they'd offer Win 8 APPs API for sync'ing to paired devices wirelessly.  Basically, do what Windows Media Player does, except offer connectivity via wifi, too.

Seeker77 says:

Can't decide whether to install now or wait till the end of August.

jfivieght says:

Install on separate drive/system; you will regret doing it on your main system since they're is no way back.

Seeker77 says:

Probably a good idea. I've no problem with running beta software, but a beta OS is a different thing entirely.

pepsijosh says:

Yeah, I updated my Windows 7 to Windows 8 Preview then when it came out like 8 months later I had to do a clean install; so this time since it is only going to be a few months I put it on a seperate partition of 25GB (20GB is required; I have about 8GB free atm just to give you an idea). Everything is running soothly, great for seeing what to look forward to & I wouldn't wait...too impatiant for that =P

11B1P says:

The title of the article says "by" August so it could be released in July.

tigermcm says:

I was using 8.1 on my desktop till the wireless adaptor became incompatible ugh but 8.1 is great!

sumothong01 says:

Really liking 8.1, much easier to work with. I've missed that start button so much.

Zulfigar says:

So Microsoft hit the head with the way they brought back the Start Button to you? Glad :D I just hope I don't have to get rid of Start8 lol, but i guess we'll see when the 8.1 goes live (I have the Preview on my Surface RT, not my main system).

Haxcid says:

??? You mean they put your windows key from your keyboard on the task bar for you. It annoys me. I want the option to turn it off.
What I do like is they added restart and shutdown to the right click menu in the lower left corner. They also added some nice dual monitor stuff. Or at least for me it is new as I added a second monitor to my w8.1 system.

sepatown says:

Actually, they added a huge amount of stuff for multi monitors. I have been using dual monitors forever and the difference between Windows 8 and 8.1 is night and day. Windows 8.1 is so much better.

GreenScrew says:

Agree. The Start Button was always there, just not visible. You just clicked in the corner instead of on a button. The only advantage of the button is for a visual queue for newbies. Personally, I prefer to have that spot back for my own pinned items! Microsoft just can't win on this one unless they make it an option to disable but have it on by default. Sure seems that would be easy enough...

DJCBS says:

So, since Microsoft is the manufacturer, it's safe to assume that the Surface devices will be the first ones to get the update?
I haven't tried 8.1 thanks to the language-packs fiasco. So it's good to know that the update is comming sooner. On the other hand, if the update solves the problems I consider as motives not to go from W7 to W8 on my PC, it will also force me to anticipate the purchase of the new LG touchscreen monitor...Let's see.

 

rjhin says:

For those with RT devices it will be in the store and for those with a full Windows Intel machine, they will have the oprion of an ISO download. It will not matter that it is or is not a Microsoft device.

DJCBS says:

I'm asking because of the last paragraph where it says the update may go out a bit after the RTM release.

close. The Windows 8.1 update will be free to all Windows 8 users. however, windows 7 users will not be able to get it for free. Anyone using Windows RT or Windows 8 will download 8.1 via the store (and my guess is the installer on Intel devices, similar to the Windows 8 upgrade tool, will have an option to create a USB key.)
 
An ISO was made for the preview. most likely, because there is no harm in it. Those using the limited preview key will, my guess, be required to purchase 8.1, while those using the preview with a license key from Windows 8 will get it for free.
 
If Microsoft released an ISO for download straight from their website, then anyone could get windows, including those who don't even use windows and mac users wishing to bootcamp it. Now why would Microsoft give the entire world their biggest seller (Windows OS) for free?

rjhin says:

You are correct about it not being free in all circumstances, I was responding to the suggestion that, Microsoft Surface tablets would get it first ahead of other devices.

 

TechsUK says:

8.1 is good. Start button easier for mouse. Variable split screen good. Apps need recompiling though, so i expect a push from ms to get devs to do that. They pointed out immediate speed benefits.
I like the repurpose of the search charm to be powered by bing.

silverbladex says:

In general, 8.1 preview is good. There are app crashes and definitely a lot to be fixed but they have definitely made it better experience. I recommend downloading the preview.

dkp23 says:

Preview pretty glitchy, sometimes the open app animation gets stuck and downsizes to a little box and stays on top of whatever you had opening.  So if i open a news app, the box will open, downsize and then just sits there. 
 
Now i am being hit with the limited connectivity bug that has returned.  This is the bug the surface had initially that was essentially fixed after like 10 updates it seems, now it is back. 
 
App crashes, some sluggishness, couple crashes.  Yup, sounds like a preview to me. 

Are you seeing that when you already have multiple metro apps open? If so, you are at your limit to how many can open at once based on your screen resolution and it wants you to drag the new app where you want it to open.

Siah1214 says:

If you have 2 apps open, this is the way of telling you to pick where you want the app. So just click the app you want to replace and it will open there.
Not a bug, actually an awesome feature.

jfivieght says:

8.1 is much much bettered for my desktop PC and just slightly better for my tablet in terms of customizing the systems to my use cases. I would hope they would fix the missing drivers on the final copy, which I'm sure they will do. AND, my biggest annoyance is that pinning metro apps next to the desktop app ALWAYS destroys the window sizes for apps on my desktop. Fix it Microsoft.

lubbalots says:

God! For a minute there I thought it was WP 8.1. I was like wtflubber! All heat up for nothing!

Hopefully 8.1 will be out and come preinstalled by the time the Haswell processers become mainstream.

lubbalots says:

Another thing, so many news Wpc I can't get to bed!

btbam91 says:

Hoping that means my Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus comes out sooner rather than later!!!!

89caps says:

Really want to see this laptop in action.

Darren Walsh says:

Sweet , so when I do a clean install with it will my product code I have with my original win 8 DVD work yeah???

Josh Harman says:

Running dual boot with my original Windows 7 and 8.1 on my desktop. 8.1 works great, although my PC isn't touch so I don't get the full experience with the Start screen. I am, however, running Splashtop2. Which uses W8 gestures so I have got try that out a little.
Anyway, 8.1 works great for me. I haven't had one single issue and it seems a little easier to use from my experience with W8 on a laptop I have.

Ryan Horn says:

They better fix Media Center Extenders since they don't work in 8.1. Also I'd like Flight Simulator 10 to work again since 8.1 broke that for me too.

DalekSnare says:

I love that you can have two metro apps share the screen, although apps designed for 8.0 (all but first party) stay thin with a black void around them if you give them more than 1/4 of the screen but less that 3/4 (they don't know how to handle it).

Sam Sabri says:


Devs can update their apps to work better with multiple metro apps open. The black bar will be going the way of the Dodo as soon as devs update.

diplomat696 says:

So in this case mass production based on actual uptake should be about 20-30 computers lol. Sorry jk I'm looking forward to an actual release. :)

Rockartisten says:

If the wait is too long, we will always be able to download the RTM ISO file from torrent sites and update our OS.

wpguy says:

Love the accelerated timeline for current users. Microsoft might want to consider a marketing push to let less technical users shopping for gear know that there is no need to wait until product with 8.1 preinstalled to hit the streets.

neogodless says:

Surface RT

Preview installed without any issues. I believe it's an improvement, but I haven't spent much time on the device to really get a feel for it.

Windows 8 Professional (desktop PC)

Tried installed 3-4 times. Had one attempt fail because of "timeouts" trying to download, but the other times, whether from the "ISO" version or through the store, I'd walk away and come back to my same old desktop with an alert that something went wrong and my computer was rolled back to before the 8.1 Preview

Windows 8 Enterprise
(work laptop)

Dying for the update but afraid to install the preview. Really want the scaling options for multiple montiors because I have two 1080p screens that are very different sizes. (17" - text too small - and 23" - text too big).

neogodless says:

Whenever I post here, I use the "WYSIWYG" and then I curse trying to actually get my text to not look like an awful amorphous blob. Can you please get your web development team to fix the spacing between paragraphs? The WYSIWYG content should look just like the posted content. For the uneducated, WYSIWYG stands for "What you see is what you get." In this case, what you see is nicely formatted, but what you get is crap.

Updated: used the "Formatted" style dropdown, which shows you Courier, but then presents your content with correct spacing the way "Normal" Looks. *sigh*

tomoakley says:

I love the preview. I actually installed on an old laptop before I got a Sony Vaio Duo 13, and I missed opening the extra metro apps, and the multi monitor tweaks. Shame 8.1 doesn't seem to play nice with my new Vaio, might be the Haswell processor but video and audio didn't wanna play. Looking forward to the RTM release.

pr0phecy says:

can't wait to update my surface rt with rtm 8.1!!

pepsijosh says:

Try looking on the Sony website for missing drivers as it is a beta it doesn't always pick it up; I had to manually get some drivers with my Packard Bell computer. =)

I'm getting my last TechNet license this month since MS is ending the program. This way I can get office 2014 as part of my investment.

DJCBS says:

http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2013/07/08/wi...

According to this, it will be with OEMs in LATE August and nothing points out at it being at the same time released to users with W8 already...

Sam Sabri says:

If you read the article, you'll see that the reason we think it will be released at the same time is according to Mary Jo Foley and her sources.

DJCBS says:

I read. And after that Microsoft released that info on their blog. Hence the kind of cold water bucket effect.

sdreamer says:

I'm guess 8-1 since its version 8.1, lol. I think the transition just like any other install, it'll migrate all your user files into Win.old then reinstall all the other files "clean."
I really hope they get the scrolling bug fixed. Just found out my Logitech k400 keyboard is the only device that scroll correctly, my touchpad, and Microsoft mice lag badly.

useme2useyou says:

Fantastic! The preview is brilliant so can't wait!

fpostrow says:

Great news. Hopefully the RTM music and video apps will be more stable. Other than that I love the new features and the breadth and depth of improvement.

laevanay says:

RT is a step child and lets admit it... its a failure...

neo158 says:

It would be nice if you RT doomsayers would actually elaborate on your outrageous claims of RT being a failure instead of just saying "It's a failure"!!!!!

swizzlerz says:

About time!!!!!!

Schikitar says:

My fav feature, native Miracast support. We have about 10 WiDi devices sitting on a shelf simply because Intel are RUBBISH at making software. With 8.1 I don't have to install any Intel bloatware and it just connects everytime. So awesome, the boss was about to make me order a bunch of AppleTVs...

mwright53 says:

Makes me glad I didn't install the preview version. I can wait two months

Enflu3nza says:

i need it NOW. my Acer W700 is all screwed up because of it
no bluetooth, desktop barely works, photo app and camera crashes, keyboard lags to the point of pulling my hair out, internet is slow, etc.
i really wish i didnt install this bloody update because my new shiny tablet is an aluminum brick now.

Neil Katz says:

No problem with it - running on a @ GB RAM 5 year old Gateway laptop which I use as a secondary PC (I remote to my Desktop which is currently running Widows 8 for any real work),
 
No issues exceot with a Bluetooth USB adapter. I had issues with Windows 8 with this too - could be a hardware issue due to the age of the laptop. Otherwise, quite a few improvements and no bad points. I use the Modern GUI, so the addition of a Start button and a boot to desktop is no big thing to me.
Bottom line...if you have Windwows 8, the upgrade is a no brainer. If not, I recomend it, but at the end of the day, each user has to make their own call.