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Windows 8.1 will start to roll out to the world tomorrow – are you ready to grab it?

Microsoft’s latest upgrade to their Windows 8 operating system will begin to hit user machines within the next 12 hours – and it is ready to pack a punch.

Are you ready for the upgrade? Do you have a few questions on how to get it?  No worries, check below for a crash course in Windows 8.1 then be sure to tune in as we release our full Windows 8.1 review in the coming week.

How do I get Windows 8.1 onto my machine?

If you are already running Windows 8, then all you need to do is sit back and relax. The update can be picked up free of charge via the Windows Store.

If you aren’t already running Windows 8, you have two options as of now. You can grab a copy of Windows 8 at your favorite retail store and wait for the update to hit shortly, or you can preorder a copy of Windows 8.1 and then receive it October 18th (a day after everyone else). Currently, offers a preorder of Windows 8.1 for $119.99.

How will logging into my machine change?

The only difference you will notice when logging into your Windows 8.1 machine, is that you now have the option to swipe down to quickly access the camera. Besides that – all is the same.

How will my Windows Start screen change?

The biggest change to the Windows Start screen will be the ability to easily resize and organize your tiles. Program tiles now have a various selection of sizes including small, medium, wide, and large. Not all apps support being pinned in “large” mode, but some apps like Microsoft’s Weather app make great use of it. Overall, the small tiles should allow you to create a cleaner Start screen experience.

Microsoft has also introduced more personalization for the Start screen including a collection of new background with two color scheme adjustment and the ability to show your current desktop wallpaper for a less jarring experience when switching between the legacy desktop and the Windows 8.1 Start screen. These settings can be adjusted by opening the charms bar while on the Start screen and selecting “settings”. Users also have the option to display their tiles in large or smaller columns – this setting can also be accessed via the charms bar.

One last addition to the Start screen now includes the ability to swipe up and reveal the list of all currently installed programs on your PC – both Windows 8 and Windows legacy software.

How will my legacy desktop change?

The desktop will stay the same for the most part. Microsoft has returned a Start button to the lower left hand corner of the screen (where it has sat for ages), but it no longer brings up a menu with access to your favorite files and programs. Instead, the Start button now brings users to the Start screen (AKA: Windows 8 mode).

Users now have the option to boot directly to the desktop and bypass seeing the Start screen. The first time Windows 8.1 starts up it will check to see if you have a touchscreen device – if not, you will be asked if you want to bypass the Start screen. If you accidently clicked the wrong box or if you do have a touch screen, but still want to boot directly to the desktop, you can right click the Windows taskbar, select properties, and then make the adjustments you desire.

You also have the ability to have the Start button bring you directly to your list of Installed Software, instead of the Start screen; this adjustment can also be made by right clicking the Windows taskbar and selecting properties.

How will using my Windows 8.1 PC change?

For the most part, your day to day use of your PC will stay the same. Microsoft has included the ability to go beyond snapping two applications 50/50 next to each other, but developers must take advantage of this capability (many already have). This is a great step up and we are excited for those with a need to multitask.

Search has also been enhanced greatly and now features a way to universally search across your PC and the web at the same time. In Windows 8.1, simply start typing on the Start screen and hit “Enter”; you will be immersed in a “deep search” experience that pulls data from every corner of your PC. No more selecting the individual app and then starting your search. And of course, the web search is powered by no other service than Microsoft’s Bing.

One of the last and most important new integrated features is built in SkyDrive. You will now have the option to save your files to your computers own local storage or save to Microsoft’s cloud. We, at Windows Phone Central, love and highly recommend SkyDrive to our readers. I currently pay $50 a year for 57 GB of online storage (you get 7 GB free) and there is no better solution because SkyDrive is tied into Windows at the operating system level. Those of you who have not yet tried SkyDrive should give it a go – those of you already using SkyDrive will welcome the deep integration that Windows 8.1 brings to the table.

Will I get any new applications with my upgrade?

Windows 8.1 offers a collection of new apps from Microsoft including a Bing cooking application which can easily switch between pages of a recipe by seeing the flick of your hand in the air.

Microsoft is also offering other small pieces of software including an improved calculator, new “Read It Later” app for keeping stories you find on the web, a new alarm app, and a new app to record sound.

On a larger scale, Microsoft has launched and improved upon four new applications: Camera, Photos, Movie Moments, and Fresh Paint. These four applications will allow you to easily manage your media and create new content. For a more detailed look at Microsoft’s reveal of these applications, check out our reporting from earlier today.

Microsoft has also included a new help and support application to get new users more comfortable with using the new operating system (via touch or mouse). This is a welcomed addition that should have been present in the original launch of Windows 8.

Lastly, Skype will be coming preinstalled on Windows 8.1 installs – there is no running away from what Microsoft hopes to be a main stream of communication for the future. That being said, the application works nicely and we are quite happy with it (although, conference call features can be improved upon).

Anything else?

Windows 8.1 will of course include a collection of new drivers, new hardware compatibility, and expanded wireless communication. One feature we all won’t all be able to use, but is present within Windows 8.1, is the operating system’s native ability to print to 3D printers.

We'll keep an eye on things and report any surprises that may come to light with the 8.1 update.  Feel free to visit the Windows 8 forums to chat it up and share your update experiences.

Alright everyone, get to bed and leave your PC on. If you don’t fall asleep, Steve Ballmer won’t be able to come in the middle of the night and install Windows 8.1. Also, don’t forget to leave out cookies and milk.

  • I can't wait to grab the final version. The preview has been awesome but I really want to test out the rest of the features like sharing a webpage to Xbox music for auto built playlists!
  • Agreed. Does anyone know if the final version will just be an update, or will there be a reset involved?
  • I'm wondering the exact same thing.
  • The article covered everything but that. :(
  • you can't update the preview to the final version. you can only upgrade from 8 -> 8.1.
  • If memory serves correctly those of us with 8.1 preview will need to format and start over. ... that is a lot of software I need to load all over again. I think I may wait a while before upgrading to the final version.
  • That's not true. You will be able to upgrade but you have to reinstall all your apps. Your files will remain intact.
  • I bought a yoga pro 2 and it let me clone my settings from my surface rt witch has the 8.1 preview. So I guess 8.1 will clone any previous set up of windows 8..
  • Yes, it's an update that will overlap Windows 8. No need to worry. Also, I believe it's coming directly from the store.
  • No disrespect but who are you to know that? It's just, most reports say the device will need a reset... Aha
  • You lose your data and/or apps. During the upgrade process you will be presented with less options.
    Source, friend and i installed 8.1 RTM
  • You can't wait
    I don't want. because I am way to happy with my Window 7.
    I'll wait for Window 9.
  • Do you really think win9 will be more like win7. The world is passing you by.
  • You think so? Guess we just missed it. Windows 7 will be fine two years from now. There's nothing ground breaking in Windows 8. I've been using 8.1 RTM for 6 weeks, not impressed.
  • Been using Windows 8 Pro since the released.  Love it.  It does exact same thing as Win7 and better.
  • If you don't have a touch-enabled device, 7 is definitely better. If you do, the reverse is true.
  • Even without a touch-enabled device (in my case - a desktop PC), I think the 8 is still better. If you download a start menu, you get all the benefits with none of the drawbacks
  • See what you said? If you download a start menu. That is the one feature that makes windows 7 better for desktop environments without touch.
  • The lack of a start menu (which is fixable) doesn't change the fact that Windows 8 runs faster then Windows 7 on the same hardware. Also I kinda prefer the squared off design of all the open windows in desktop
  • Nothing ground breaking? Its got about 1000 generic drivers inbuilt. Its got tones of beautiful apps, it runs on any shittiest hardware. People need to learn to love a change that is good!
  • A newer version of an OS is always better.
    It's built to better use latest hardware (just one example: Win8 has better support for SSD).
    Windows 8 is not just lipstick.
    I don't really care about the Metro, I don't use store apps.
  • *cough* Vista *cough*
  • I still don't understand the bad rap Vista got. I can understand people didn't like to leave XP because people don't like change. But in the end, Vista is not that different from Windows 7. Why everyone accepted Win 7 then and still hate Vista?
    This is one of those concepts that sticks forever, though they don't always have a real basis: "Vista =  sucks". Windows 8 "sucks" too, as Windows Phone. See what I'm aiming at?
    The closest thing to reality that happened is that Vista got hate for the changes in interface and use and by the time Win 7 came out everyone was ok with them (Aero, UAC, etc, which are still in Win 7).
  • I think the problem with Vista was that a lot of people who tried it didn't have powerful enough hardware for it. I never really got to experience it though, jumped from XP to 7 and half year later to 8
  • Exactly, not every pc running XP could make it work. I had the exact same progression in Windows versions as you did.
    And I tell you, I used to be more wary of updating the OS version, but with Windows 8 I jumped right in as soon as I saw it.
  • Deleted: Double post
  • I used Vista from release (Jan. 2007) and only had one problem... networking with my XP machine. I eventually got it working, but it was a bear. Other than that it was no worse than XP.
    I used it until I upgraded that PC to Windows 8 (October 2012). Windows 8 made it even better... until the HD crashed! :)
    I think Vista got a bad rap... especially from those who never used it! ;)
  • As it happened with Windows 8 and even more with Windows Phone...
  • hahaha.."x I'm tc"
    Already answer what I was about too.
  • I honestly assumed this comment was written by Mike Rowesoft, but I think Dantekai14 was serious... Please be trolling?
  • I like that there's, like, one troll on here and he's often more entertainment than nuisance. When you read a stupid comment, you just know its mike.
  • I read windows 7 and windows 9 where in this article? oh yeah... nowhere in the article says that.
    then I wonder why people like you still comment on an article that is obviously not written for you.
  • then why the fu*k you give shit. Is that necessary if you like if you like it then all world must like it too? This article is saying that "are you aready?" I said I am not. I don't think i was off topic but you are. because I didn't read about articke in your comment.
  • What kind of cookie do you want? I have a big basket full of different kinds. Pick any you want ... Thanks for sharing.
  • Lol at the end part made me laugh cant wait to mess about with the features and stuff
  • I moved from W8 pro to 8.1 preview, how do I update?
  • Wipe it and start over. That was what you agreed to when you installed preview.
  • Nooooooo, that would be a disaster, I never cared to read anything before installing the preview
  • And now you learned a valuable lesson ;)
  • Preview gets the update too, but it does reset your installed software. Unless you follow the instructions nanoware alluded to.
  • I've sucessfully downgraded from win8.1 preview to 8. i used an win8 upgrade image i made when moving from 7 to 8 but im pretty sure the original disk will work. it kept everything. the only thing broken is skydrive. the client thinks i am on win8.1 and wont load the desktop app. i hope i get it back tomorrow after updating :p
  • Absolutely nothing on MS preview FAQ indicated this...and it still didn't as of yesterday. Pisses me off.
  • Yes it did and still does.
  • Im having windows 8 on my pc.I downloaded the small file that is required to upgrade to win 8.1 preview and installed it.....but never upgraded to 8.1 preview. Now will it update to 8.1 or should i install Windows 8 again?
  • You should be fine tomorrow when everything goes live.
  • You can upgrade from preview. Need final version install disk iso, and remove a ini file from iso root. Burn. Google mydigitallife forums.
  • You should get an option in the shop to upgrade too. The only problem is you'll need to reinstall your apps/applications.
  • My disk allocations are all goofed up and still have dual boot for Win7, that I don't really need anymore. Beer and clean installing Win8 is fun for me ;)
  • Just metro apps I think, which is easy from the store now.
  • I believe I have until Jan 15th before I really have to...(8.1 preview expiration)
  • I thought Facebook was coming with Windows 8.1?
  • An offical Facebook app (and an offical Flipboard app) are said to hit this holiday season. :)
  • Lame, was really expecting Facebook to come along
  • Yeah I know. Wtf get people on board you need the big apps...facebook should have been done last year with the release of windows 8. Office MX or metro version for all of the office apps should have been ready for tomorrow with 8.1. I love my windows 8.1 pro version I've been using now for well over a month now from my dreamspark account...but it just feels like there is no communication within Microsoft. They make these great apps for 8.1 (food & drink, etc) but they don't exist for wp8? Wtf?
  • Fail to see the need. Facebook's development team sucks. Website works well, and considering the way the mobile apps are, I expect a web lookalike with a few more touch friendly buttons. Did you NEED a Facebook app on your Windows 7 PC? No? Then why do you NEED one on 8?
  • +1, finally someone who is not blinded by this 'I need an app for it' stupidity.
  • Dont you think it would be awesome to just snap your chat messages to one side and have them display perfectly without any zoom in or out process to get the right fit while multitasking?? I dont really care about having an app, but sometimes when I'm working on some sort of project with my friends and communicationg through facebook, it would be nice to have your chat in one side being displayed perfectly and being to work and talk with your friends without having to switch back and forth between programs and blah blah blah... I dont really care about having an official app though, im okay with using a cheap app off the store as long as i can message on it.
  • 8.1 allows half screen snapping so you can work and play perfectly. I'm actually doing half and half right now and it's working a charm. Besides, if folks need an immediate facebook update so badly, go to the website, sign in, check the "keep me signed in" box, and pin the site to your start screen. Boom facebook mobile app.
  • Agreed. Most apps are dumbed down websites that are more digestible for mobile users. I have tried several apps on win8 and I get so frustrated by their limitations that I just give up and use the web interface. I think that once websites start getting more mobile friendly (and mobile devices get more capable) without loosing features then more and more mobile apps are just going to be glorified web links.
    Outside of games I can't think of a single thing that I want or need to take up my full screen... and even most games I play windowed to have a movie or progress bar running in the corner.
  • Actually I've found that Facebook works like crap with touch... not a need for app necessarily but they definitely need to make it work better for tablets.
  • And Facebook for Windows 8.1 is now live in the store.
  • Plenty of articles out there describing how internal communication at Microsoft isn't the best.
  • I don't see it on the dreamspark website?  All I see is the Sever 2012 r2.
  • Windows 8.1 has been available on Dreamspark since September 18, 2013. I downloaded and installed it on that day. Do a search for Windows 8.1 in the Dreamspark search bar and it should show up. If your institution provided you with Windows 8, you should see Windows 8.1, Windows 8 and Windows 7 still available to download.
  • What is the problem with using your browser? I don't get this obsession with apps. Why have an app for something you can do perectly well without it.
  • Wow I hope you don't have a smartphone. If you are smart then you would know like anyone else that apps are for fing CONVEINCE!! Most apps lack features that their websites offer but rather then having to open your browser, type in the website, type in your login credentials, and etc. All you have to d us open up the app. Also apps allow for instant notifications...last time I checked if you have a fb open up in the browser and you are playing a game or what not, it won't tell you that someone posted on your wall etc.
  • Like the newly updated YouTube app on WP8
    :D who needs convenience??? (-google on WP)
  • your login? almost all websites has an option to auto-login! and Facebook has this annoying sounds whenever i had notifications, i disabled them all lol but that works to notify you!
    and i agree, once websites start evolving to be touch friendly, apps will be nothing more than shortcuts lol
  • Because Windows 8 is app centric, it's designed to be friendlier using applications.
  • True, and by holiday season you mean later on today then yes! :)
  • Official Facebook app for 8.1 and rt now available in store.
  • One would think that these big name apps would be coming with the update. There's been absolutely no evidence to indicate that is the case, though. Hopefully they'll say something about those apps (and more!) at the launch event.
  • Pin the website to your start screen
  • Hell yeah I am ready, 2 surfaces and a dell laptop.
  • I already upgraded from 8.1 preview to 8.1 rtm
  • Search in my opinion is much worse in 8.1, also what happens of you are running the preview version, will it upgrade for you to the final version of 8.1?
  • Yeah not a fan of the non-contextual search either
  • yeah it sucks but you have to deal with it. I liked how fast was to search in apps, now I need to go to apps to get an instant search.
    But you can turn Bing off your search and it will be faster, not like 8.0 but faster than 7.... search in 8.1 is close to suck as win7 did (thats why i never used it) but still search in 8.1 is more usable. but I had to turn bing off so it would give me fast searches. because it seems it slows down the search by alot... maybe my internet and this old computer. but without Bing, search is now decent.
  • Sweet baby! Yes!!
  • Waiting here with a large Ruffles!
    Thx Michael for all the great news you bring here!
    Guys post your device type
    Sent from Acer Aspire R7
  • Thanks Muderko! Glad you are enjoying the site! *From a ThinkPad X1 Carbon*
  • Signature should be made part of the app and website, so we don't have to type it every time.
    Sent from my Lumia 1020
  • or simply AUTO-DETECT device feature, would be awesome!
    Sent from Acer Aspire R7
  • Jynx!! ----------
    Sent from a yellow 1020 with a lovely case
  • Cool.
    Sent from my inimitable Nokia 3310
  • Sent from my 920, but waiting for app optimization to post from my xps12! (can only read articles currently, no comments section to start arguments in ;))
  • I've had this day marked on my calendar, so excited!!!!!
  • Haha me too, ;)!
  • I have been running the 8.1 preview on my surface rt and desktop and love it can't wait for Ballmer Claus to deliver 8.1 :D
  • Hahah Ballmer Claus! Funniest thing I've read today!
  • You have to start reading more lol
  • My body is ready!
  • No mas pantelones
  • LMAO
  • I wonder why people like you wrtie something in a language you dont even know... you actually sound "silly". I understand people trying to speak english here and their mistakes because everyone wants you to speak english, even in forums stupid mods apparently hate you if you speak in other languages... but not many people show their spanish here. at leasy you could have checked if the word was correct or not... you know its not hard to do that.
    again, if you didnt understand, "Pantelones" doesnt exist and "mas" as a ´ so its "más". its not even funny what you said, but you can at least spell it right, instead of sounding ignorant.  
  • Its the effect that counts!
  • A whole rant for a 3 word comment...
  • Today I learned that Spanish grammar Nazis exist. I thought they were reserved for English posts only. Es muy loco!
  • Its from a Progressive Insurance commercial. It was funny there too. Comprende?
  • Give it to me baby
  • Already got it on my desktops, but cannot wait for my Surface. Even though I am replacing it on Friday.
  • I just hope the keep the facebook chat on the message app bc thats the app that I used the most :)
  • Sadly... there is no more message app as Microsoft wants everyone to switch to Skype. Check out IM+, which has great syncing capabilities betweeen devices.
  • Does the Skype app support facebook chat ?? Im sorry for the question but I heard somewhere you can chat with your facebook "friend" through the skype app 
  • Only through the Desktop app. The ModernUI app does not support Facebook chat, only Messenger and Skype. Hopefully they shoot out another update to make the newer Skype app better, like photo sharing...
  • For some reason I read that as potato sharing. Strange
  • Looooooolllll xD xD hahahbahahaha!!!!!
  • Yeah I miss that option. I was runnning the preview and I thought it was stupid to take that away. My laptop still has it. I really hope they integrate facebook chat in there somehow really soon.
  • My body is ready! I can't wait! :)
  • So that's the only way?? I thought in the preview we would get the update then proceed as normal
  • Nope. I have yet to see a preview/beta product MS makes be upgradable to the full version. Too much testing would be needed.
  • I believe mango preview originally wasn't upgradeable and then last month they allowed it
  • You can upgrade from the preview, but you will need to reinstall all of your desktop and RT apps.
  • RT preview will be upgradable. I read it on Microsoft website yesterday, searching for a way to reinstall W8 RT on tablet, in anticipation of tomorrow's release. Edit: Read the warning under "Can I uninstall Windows 8 RT preview?"
  • Looking forward to this! I had the preview for while, dual boot with 8.0 and really liked it, but decided to do a clean install of w8 and didn't reinstall. I think the changes they have implemented will change a lot of perception out there, though much of it was petty bitching by people who can't handle change. Tech is change incarnate.
  • Preach my friend!
  • YES. Thank you.
  • This shall forever be known to me as "Windowsmas" to where i shall leave milk cinemagraph gifs and cookie pngs for Ballmer.
  • I'm ready!
  • Very excited! Can't wait for Santa Ballmer to visit my laptop.
  • I thought the update is delivered through windows store, did they change to windows update now
  • it may be like the preview where the windows update enables the store to download it.
  • You are correct. Article seems to be wrong.
  • Sorry for the confusion; it will be delivered through the Windows Store - my apologies.
  • I am already running 8.1 got it through dream spark.
  • Same here buddy. Quick question does it say "windows 8.1 pro / secureboot isn't configured correctly / build 9600" at the bottom right corner in the desktop?
  • Does it come to windows phones too?
  • Not until next year.
  • The GDR3 preview is out...
  • No, Windows 8.1 will never come to Windows Phone. It is a a PC and Tablet OS. Next year, Windows Phone will get the next Windows Phone version, currently assumed to be WP 8.1. They are not the same thing, just as your phone and your computer are not the same thing.
  • Lots of updating tomorrow at work for me. I only have a little netbook now with windows 8.1 preview on it. It's been great for me. I will enjoy playing with the final version.
  • Full is way better than the preview... I've had it since September... ;)
  • Good to hear. I get the feeling that they stop updating their previews about halfway through, and leave it with a few unfixed bugs. But they always fix it all and usually provide some extra bits for RTM.
  • is it coming 12am pst?
  • 4am ET
  • Actually I think it's 4am PST
  • Are you sure??
  • That means I need to sleep now so I can wake up early for it.
  • Let's hope I get it on my Surface RT tomorrow here in Australia. Looking forward to 8.1!
  • Ok, the only US Microsoft Store says October 17th. However, ALL other places (inclusing the US Microsoft page) say October 18th...which is it, after all? Here in Europe it's already October 17th. No sign of 8.1.
    So my guess is: it will be released on October 18th in Europe but at a time when in the USA it's still the 17th.
 Surface RT is ready. My PC isn't. I'm holding to W7 until I fully test W8.1 on the Surface and decide if it's a worthy update to W7 or if I should just wait for W9.
  • For Germany it's 17th October 13:00.
  • See? It's a mess. You can't tell which date is correct.
  • Why is it a mess? Its just the fact that they dont roll it out on 17th at midnight in Europe, but somewhere in midday.
  • In the US you have two dates announced. 17th on the Store, 18th on Microsoft's page. In the same country. Over here, on the other hand, they have announced only October 18th. From here to Germany there's only 1 hour apart. So either it's not a true global release or someone messed up the dates
  • As I heard it, the update will come through the Windows Store on the 17th, and made available for purchase on the 18th.
  • It's not that hard. It launches 12am on the 18th at the dateline. New Zealand is on the dateline, GMT+12, the first country to reach October 18th. Obviously this is some time on October 17th for the rest of the world.
  • Your surface pro 2 ships with 8.1, you know...
  • And? I don't own a Surface Pro 2 and I have no intentions of buying one at those prices. Why should I care what ships with it?
    I have a feeling you answered the wrong comment, mate ;)
  • Hahaha! Exactly what happened. Sorry, I replied that to a guy under your post. I'm gonna blame the tiny icons in WPCentral's WP8 app for this one :p
  • Perhaps MS couldnt wait, so Windowsmas is coming a day early?
  • It will be available around the globe from 12:00am New Zealand time. So just work out what time this is in your time zone and it should be available then.
  • I'm ready, but I have to wait till November because my surface pro 2 ships the 29th. :'(
  • I'll check here tomorrow to learn the mechanics for upgrading from Windows 8. I don't want to lose anything.
  • 8 to 8.1 will be the easiest...
  • Didnt they something about getting it through the store? Now WPCentral says via Windows Update? Im confused. I dont want to wait till a popup tells me I have an update, I want to force it.
  • Then click "Check for updates." I'd imagine its coming through the store like the preview did.
  • With the preview, you installed an update that enabled the store to download the preview. I assume its the same for the release. Just click "check for updates" in windows updates tomorrow, as well as check the store.
  • but check the store for what? just enter Windows 8.1 in search or what?!
  • on 8, after the preview windows update from the windows update package, there was a gargantuan tile in the store that said "Get the preview" with an image of a computer running 8.1. i assume the same will apply to the release.
  • Got it a couple of weeks ago,
  • Tell Balmer I will leave it on and expect something to start happening at 12:01 AM CST
  • I'm installing the hell out of this thing tomorrow!
  • Already have it! Yay for being a student!
  • Howd that happen. I am a student.
  • Where are you from so we can calculate
  • Just want my surface 2 already.
  • Any idea how much free hard drive space we'll need on RT?
  • This is an interesting point, you know. I was thinking of this earlier today.
    I don't think it will be a huge update size wise, but still. Not that I use my Surface to store a lot of files, on the contrary. But I'm thinking that each update will add to the used space.
  • will have details on how to upgrade tomorrow
  • When it asks 'do you want to upgrade', you answer 'yes' ;-)
  • All we need now is Microsoft to start incentivising companies to start making their Win 8/Metro apps. That will turn my Surface 2 into a fantastic tablet, from a great tablet with no decent apps
  • I'm ready, I Nuked my Samsung windows 8 tabet that I put the preview of 8.1 on.....just running old Windows 8....waiting for the final 8.1...not sure if i could make it till midnight, so i will bring my tablet to work with me...
  • Lol
  • Just got my repaired surface back today!
  • Can't wait! :D
  • Pumped! =D Didn't install the preview since id have to reinstall everything, been waiting for the final for like ever it seems lol.
  • I'm curious. I left Windows 7 on my PC as a dual boot option. Will the update affect that partition at all? I can't imagine it would.
  • I don't think it will, it should just change the partition you have w8 on.
  • Feature I am looking forward to most is automatic app updates from the store!
  • It's good, I have completely forgotten about updates now, both apps and system.
  • Absolutely ready! But yea from 8.1 preview to 8.1 it will wipe out everything, including desktop apps and..everything, right?
  • Just apps (which should re-download from the store as usual) and installed software (if it's anything like Windows 8, it will leave you an HTML file on your desktop with a list of the software you had and download links for any it can find sources for).
  • Can't wait to get this on my surface
  • are you ready to grab it?
    No, I am not.
    Actuallydon't want it
  • Yeah, you said the same thing 3 minutes earlier.  Why do you feel the need to be here to bring us your hateration? 
  • Lol enjoy your windows XP. I'm definitely ready for some 8.1 goodness
  • Yeah! I am enjoying my window 7.
    IF OS is New then it doesn't mean it will be good.
  • Good stuff, looking forward to it!
  • Did you forget about the new Mail app?  Or maybe it's called Outlook now?  It is supposed to not suck like the current Mail app in Windows 8.  I'm really looking forward to this, as the Mail app was/is horrifyingly bad in Windows 8.
  • i actually dont get the fuss about the old mail pp. it works just fine imo.
  • its like how Oulook Express was on XP a stripped down mail client that could use some minor upgrades...
  • i dont see how it was stripped down (Exchange Support, Multiple Accounts, etc....) but eh, ive never really looked through Outlook in office to see the difference
  • One huge advantage the mail app has over Outlook: supports connection to works Exchange Server via ActiveSync. If only Outlook could do that. :/
  • the current, non 8.1 supports that. (or you aaying Outlook from office doesnt?)
  • If I'm reading it correctly, he's saying it isn't in Outlook, and he wishes it was.
  • I think the Mail app is still bad. Like using an app from 1995.
  • Got my 3 pc's on standby :-D
  • I'm guessing Surface 2 and pro 2 will come with 8.1 installed?
  • Yes the surfaces have 8.1 pre-installed
  • Hellz Yeah!! (Is that too technical?)
  • Been waiting for it, will install in a few hours (once it's available)
  • I haven't installed my copy of Windows 8 yet. One of these days, maybe.
  • Have RTM on my laptop and desktop from my MSDN account. My Surface RT, however... can't wait!
  • same
  • Great.
  • Windows 8.1 will be released 4:00AM PDT standard time on October 17th
  • Hmm... Stay up or set the alarm for a few hours early...
  • I'm not ready... I've already got it since weeks ago. Loving it!!! :D
  • If it installs that good for nothing wanna be start menue then forget it; I'm doing just fine with classic shell.
  • Hopefully, 8.1 will not do away with my utility start menu.  It the only thing that makes 8.0 usable.
  • Intel needs to step up their shit, some of my old playable games (rtw, mlb2k10 and others) are unplayable due to some fuck up in the drivers. It's been like this since I switched from preview to rtm. Fix it.
  • What time is the rollout?
  • Yeeeessss im so ready
  • If I upgraded to windows 8 for free through my university,can I get 8.1 for free?
  • "If you aren’t already running Windows 8, you have two options as of now. You can grab a copy of Windows 8 at your favorite retail store and wait for the update to hit shortly"
    Of course. Windows 8 is so magical you don't even need to install it on your computer. Just by grabing the box to your home Windows 8.1 will magically install itself into your computer automatically :D
    Sorry, couldn't resist that.
  • [WRONG COMMEMT AGAIN.] (Pardon me. despite hitting reply to the comment above, my comment seems to be attracted to this post.)
  • (could you please tell weaksauce27: "all 8.0 users get 8.1 for free from the Windows Store (aka: the app store), so no matter how you got it, if you have Windows 8, you get 8.1"? Its not letting me reply, posting my reply under your comment. At least, on my end it is. And could some one delete the two "WRONG COMMENT"s who has authority? I swear WPCentral's comment and post system ironically has the hardest time with Windows 8 & IE10)
  • That darn reply button...
  • its honestly quite embarrassing, both for WPCentral, and those whose comments are messed up by it.
  • Nah I'll stick to 7 till my PC craps outs and is unrepairable
  • Why? 8/8.1 has better memory management, power efficiency and file system I/O improvements. There's no real reason to stick with 7 at this point, as you can live almost exclusively in desktop mode with 8.1 if you really don't like Metro.
  • Is it the same for wp8?
  • Wp8.1cominh spring 2014.
  • Oh my god its out!!! Its 9pm Oct 17!!
    my surface rt is updating but my desktop win8 hasn't caught the update. what gives?
  • Where are you located? New Zealand?
  • U mean 9 am?
  • Anyone know if this update will be forced out? Should I turn off automatic updates? I have several applications that brings Windows back to the way I like it, but those will definitely break with this new update.
  • And somehow AT&T is delaying the release of 8.1 to their customers' computers...
  • Don't worry they are just stripping the start button off, it'll be ready in a couple of months.
  • Thought in comes out in 2014!
  • That's windows Phone
  • Ah, it is a pleasant surprise, I thought they were rolling out within 1-2 days of each other in early'14
  • Is this for rt also?
  • yeah, obviously. Remember RT is just Win8 running on ARM.. nothing more, of course Microsoft has to do stuff to run windows on arm, but they will deliver RTM for both on 18th, ARM and x86-64 processors. also remember surface 2 is coming in couple days, and it will have 8.1.
  • Can't wait for the update...
  • Do you guys think it will take up less space or more
  • Excited. Ready, but not.
    I say that as I have been using the 8.1 Preview, so I will for the second time haveto reinstall much of my software. However, this is not too bad and I still have the list of apps that the first install created, with links to facilitate that. 
    There is much more than meets the eye, and a big one not listed is that many core Control Panel settings will have moved to teh Modern/Metro/Wnidows 8 side.
  • 8.1 has changed the game.  Real good job.  I wonder if the RT version will drop tomorrow as well.
  • Question: Do all applications and programs need to be reinstalled? 
  • not unless you installed the preview
  • I hope the start button is optional. That thing is an eyesore.
  • With the physical start button on the keyboard, I feel the same.
  • That's what the general public want though, sadly
  • what about on windows phone???
  • Edit: att will probably release 8.1 early 2015.
    other carriers except EE will release it (probably) early 2014.
  • early 2014
  • Fortunately, I woke up to this article of yours so I was spared of the nightmare of uncle Steve roaming through the darkened corridors of my flat, trying to plug it in. I hope my VivoTab Smart will be more accepting of Windows 8.1 this time. The Preview had some major driver issues... :)
  • No I'm not ready yet. I want Windows 10 on Iphone :D
  • I am intrigued by thos stating that I can roll my 8.1 preview back to 8 with my original install disks (ordered when I upgraded last year).
    I was under the impression that was not possible. Would save some grief is that is right.
  • Yessss!
  • Yes indeedy
  • Downloading now!!! Jk!
  • Mine is actually installing now yay!!!
  • Where are you time zone wise?
  • My body is ready...
  • Does anybody know of better HDMI-out support? I have connected a professional 27" Eizo monitor with 2560 by 1440 to my Zenbook UX51 and currently have to set up a special resolution at only 35 Hz vertically for the Nvidia 640M, which is fine for print design, but animations for web pages are therefore laggy ...
  • I haven't seen anything specific to HDMI-out, but there are a LOT of driver improvements in 8.1. If you were seeing a regression from Windows 7 to 8.0, it likely was addressed in 8.1.
  • Thanks for the reply and let's hope it'll be improved!
    I gurantee you this has nothing to do with 8. Either you dont have the nvidia driver, or your hardware is just quirky.
  • Ready for 8.2
  • Facebook official app is on wow
  • The new search feature is definitely one thing I really like about 8.1 plus it feels quite a bit faster nice work MSFT.
  • HI guys, I'm already having Windows 8 Pro, is it possible that I could download ISO of 8.1RTM and upgrade my OS. Since I don't have bandwidth in my home internet so planning to download it in office..
  • dont get the iso. The 8.1 update should be through the Windows Store app
  • I think I'll wait 48 hours. I think the servers will be overloaded right now.
  • When will 8.1 for the phone be released
  • Can I get it for my windows 8 Phone? 
  • no. this is windows, not windows phone
  • Woooopi
  • My home Pc's ready for the update :)
  • Curious what will happen to my Start8 Start button with the return of the Start button... Will they battle it out or what?
  • Guys , Also if anyone have downloaded the 8.1 then do let me know of the approximate size..
  • 3.6gig
  • Anyone with 8.1 preview seeing the update yet? I'm not seeing it yet, still backing up all my stuff so I'll be ready to install tomorrow.
  • There is no need to backup all your stuff. 
  • People should back up their stuff any time they upgrade their OS.
    there is the link, click it and u will get to the store with windows 8.1 ready to be installed
  • Morning. Is 8.1 released in uk yet.??????? Its cold this morning. Don't want to get out of bed
  • Brilliantly written article. 8.1 is even smoother than 8 was on my surface pro.
  • I have had the legal RTM, not a leak, installed on a Surface Pro twice in the past month including last week, and I would hardly call the experience smooth. There were multiple nuisance problems and. more importantly, a full blown return of the limited connectivity issue. Hopefully the release rolled out in the next 24 hours has addressed things, but you would have no way to know that since you do not have it any more than anyone else does...
  • according to the verge official facebook app now available on windows 8.1 store
  • Is true.  I don't have the update yet but if you look for Facebook Inc. it will appear. 
  • ya i saw the screenshots another advantage of windows 8.1 tablets over android tablets :)
  • Yep, saw that just now on Engadget. Happy days are hear again....if Flipboard drops, its a wrap.
  • I'm now using it about a month ago rtm version
  • SO ready!!!
  • Man I can't wait!
  • Get Windows 8.1 for free Windows 8 customers can update to Windows 8.1 in the Windows Store, starting October 18th, 2013. It's free, quick, and will make your experience better than ever
  • Any ETA for GMT time zones?
  • 12noon GMT
  • Thanks!
  • if you are using windows click on taskbar clock - change time and date settings - additional clocks - add new clock and set it to us and canada pacific time done now you will know what time is it  in US compared to your local time
    they are going to roll out update on 4 am Pacific time / 7 am Eastern time
  • Will this backup your installed programs if updating? I know it backs up documents, pictures and music.
  • You get the option to 'Keep personal documents' or 'Keep nothing' if upgrading from the preview. All apps to be reinstalled. It doesn't take long though. I had to reinstall Visual Studio, its Update 2, 4 Windows Phone toolkits and quite a bit more. I survived :-)
  • Awesome! Thanks Dean.
  • Any ETA for GMT time zones?
  • Yes please, I'm lost, in China now....when I will get this? LOL
  • Been using the 8.1 Preview for ages and can't wait for the final to hit so I can update & lose the watermark in the bottom corner.
    I prefer 8.1 to 8 as it's far more customizable with the ability to boot to the Desktop. I've got kind of a Win Mac style going on, Boot to Desktop with Taskbar at to of the Screen, ObjectDock at the Bottom & StartScreen when I need it, with my most used apps pinned to ObjectDock & my next most used pinned to the TaskBar & everything else currently split between StartScreen & All Apps screens.
  • I've been READY since Windows 8 was born ;)
  • Can't wait!!!!
  • "The update will be delivered to you free of charge via Windows Update."
    This is wrong! Please correct it.
  • Indeed, it will cost $100 via Windows Update. ;-)
  • Yes I'm excited because everything will be the same without any changes. With this update looks like a bone for dog every day :)
  • Windows 8.1 is time to kick ass!
  • Not interested - I'm a die-hard Windows 3 guy, and from what I heard, Win 8.1 still does not have floppy disk support!
  • I'm quite disappointed that my tape drive is no longer supported.
  • Yes, these youngsters just don't get it...
  • Does 8.1 RT have Outlook?
  • According to the now live Windows 8.1 page, Windows 8 users can upgrade via the Windows Store starting 10/18, not 10/17.
  • 10/18 at the date line (GMT+12), which is 10/17 for everyone else.
  • By the way, what's the link to that page? I can't seem to find it.
  • Thanks for the crash course. But I could use some more advanced details. For anyone using preview 8.1, instructions were clear, you have to do a clean install. Will the .iso be available immediately as well? How exactly would that work on surface RT? Is surface rt USB bootable, etc... Thanks guys.
  • I still don't remember ever seeing that a clean install was required. The wording was 'you will lose your applications'. You couldn't update the Surface RT if an ISO was required.Do you have an official article at hand that says a fresh installation is necessary?
  • I'm really fuzzy on that detail too. I've seen more people saying you'll only have to reinstall all of your "metro" apps, leaving all of your files and legacy programs intact. I haven't really been keeping score, but that opinion is beating the "clean install" crowd. Hopefully this is the case...reinstalling my Windows 8 apps is not a problem whatsoever.
    Regardless, I'm stoked for the update! My Surface RT is hungry for the new Xbox Music that my laptop has been enjoying for months.
  • My understanding was that your software (non-Store apps) would need to be reinstalled. Having to reinstall Store apps isn't much of an issue because they automatically download anyway; though of course you'd lose any data that isn't on Roaming storage.
  • Good. Maybe I misread all the fuss in June. I remember seeing all sources (the 3 I read are wpcentral, Engadget and ZDNet) saying that you cannot upgrade, but need a clean install. Which in essence means you loose your applications wording. Thanks! Still, I want the iso for my non-rt machines. :)
  • So this update will be for all rt systems including the Asus Vivo tab??
  • Yep all All Windows RT devices too :-)
  • Nothing yet on either my desktop (Win 8 Pro) or my laptop (Win 8.1 Pro Preview).  I tried to use the check for updates now, but all I get are defender updates. (USA EST).
  • Is there a way to force the update?
  • Will the update be available today worldwide? Or is this US only?
  • Thanks, I checked Windows update and it was not there but, checked the store and it was right on the front page.....awsome !
  • Man, they weren't messing around when they said it would be available at 7:00 (Eastern).
    Nice job, Microsoft!
  • Yup,checked the Store and voila! Downloading! (didn't see it when checking on Windows Updates) 22:10 Australian EST
  • Yep, live in Romania too.
    Downloading right now!
  • Downloading now in Finland.
  • yes its live, downloading now
  • Everyone get off the servers so I can download ;)
  • Downloading on my surface rt now! Been running 8.1 on my PC last couple weeks (TechNet)
  • Were you running preview on your RT or windows 8?
  • Downloading now in Australia :)
  • Nothing yet in New Zealand ...
  • I know right, this sucks. NZ is 2nd country to see the sunrise and yet others get it first. As always.
  • Guess I'll be up all night for this update :)
  • Downloading now in the UK.  Went live around 12:10ish here.  Nice job.  Looks to be quite a big download.  (Or the servers are slow) Just hit 49% after around 25 mins
  • Actually scrap that, it's shifting on a bit now.  Around 50% mark is the actual download, now "Checking compatibility" at 61%
  • Downloading Win 8.1 now...speeds aren't too bad really, almost at 50% complete.
  • 68% Race you!
  • 51 minutes later and I'm only half way downloaded :P
  • The status bar is just by the 'o' in 'Pro' :P now installing!
  • Checking compatibility!!
  • Applying changes
  • Checking compatibility :)
  • Anyone updating from the RT Preview?
  • Can't see the update :(
  • Me neither. I thought I read on Microsoft's website that we should be able to update but we will have to reinstall our apps.
  • Nevermind I got it.
  • As we speak I am now downloading Windows 8.1 Pro on my pc in UK 
  • I'm ready now. Was running the 8.1 preview and did a wipe last night and installed Win8 Pro 64. I forgot how much had changed with the preview. Should be available once I get home from work!!!!
  • Downloading Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center now:)
  • Downloading on my surface RT now. 2.1GB. 12:30 uk time
  • Checking compatibility now
  • Now applying changes
  • Gathering info..
  • Can you update from the windows 8.1 preview
  • I guess not.
  • click that link and there is information, if u downloaded preview fro  store then u can do same to full 8.1 but if u had downloaded fro m disc or somethin g else then there is information how to do it
  • Windows RT?
  • Windows RT yes, straight from 8, I didn't have the preview on
  • Got it through the store, not update
  • Thanks for the reminder.
  • UK RT 8.1 Preview users, the link within here has just worked for me:
  • Thank you! Worked for me in NZ too.
    If it failed for you previously (403 Access Denied) then refreshing the failed page won't do anything; you have to click the link again from the page above.
  • Preparing to restart :-)
  • I have the 8.1 preview on my Surface RT but can't see the update in the store. My laptop which just had Windows 8 Pro with Media Center is done, the update came through at 11:59 GMT (UK).
    Any idea when my Surface RT will find the update?
  • Got it on update
    Started downloading
    2.68gb for 32bit os
  • For 8.1 RT Preview users, here's the direct link: ms-windows-store:WindowsUpgrade
  • Sharp at Indian std time I got the update on store
  • My Surface RT is 'setting up 56% (in uk)
  • I have win8, but upgraded to 8.1 preview. At that time, it gave me a new key, different than my Win8 key. So now, how do i upgrade to 8.1 using my licensed key?
  • click that link and there is information, if u downloaded preview fro store then u can do same to full 8.1 but if u had downloaded fro m disc or somethin g else then there is information how to do it
  • When is the update hitting the rt?
  • So far nothing in the store or windows update for 8.1 preview... is it true that we have  to revert back to Win8 before we can get the update then?
  • click that link and there is information, if u downloaded preview fro store then u can do same to full 8.1 but if u had downloaded fro m disc or somethin g else then there is information how to do it
  • Thanks a bunch! Downloading, finally :D
  • I wish I could get the 8.1 ISO from MS or at least the update file to slipstream it into my Win 8 pro disc.
  • so far 8 to 8.1 seems to be live but nothing on any 8.1 preview to 8.1.
  • yup.... still waiting
  • click that link and there is information, if u downloaded preview fro store then u can do same to full 8.1 but if u had downloaded fro m disc or somethin g else then there is information how to do it
  • I checked my RT install before I left for work at 8am EDT and didn't see any pending update in either the OS update or the store update list.
  • The updater will show up front and center in the store. Process proceeds from there after downloading.
  • Thanks for the response, I'll check it out when I get home!
  • Anyone getting the 0xc190010b error?
  • No, where did you run into that? I currently have 1 going from 8 pro with MC to 8.1 Pro with MC, 2 going from 8 Pro to 8.1 Pro and 1 going from 8 to 8.1. All going smoothly so far but nothing on 8.1 Preview to 8.1.
  • My preview device is updating fine. Its my 8.0 device that is running in to this error. It's running the update again. Fingers crossed. :-)
  • Only running in to this error during the "gathering info" stage.
  • Not ready, I'm sticking with windows 7.
  • Ugh, taking for ever....been over 2 hours MAYBE 25-30% downloaded....
  • My sound has halved. Helppppppp.
  • Not ready. I'm sticking with XP.
  • then why the fu*k you give shit. Is that necessary if you like it then all world must like it too? This article is saying that "are you aready?" I said I am not. I don't think i was off topic but you are. because I didn't read about article in your comment.
  • My net is pretty slow just 1mbps. its been 4 hours and 48 % ? how much will it be completed 80 % just like the apps do or full 100 %
  • I have Win8 enterprise edition and I am unable to find the update to 8.1 at the store or through windows update. Anyone else have this issue?