Skip to main content

Windows Blue Update is Officially Windows 8.1, Previews Begin Next Month

It’s official: the long-rumored Windows Blue update is formally known as Windows 8.1. Tami Reller, CFO and CMO of Windows, shared this information at JP Morgan’s Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in Boston, confirming that the software upgrade will be available in the Windows Store for free.

The news doesn’t come as much of a surprise, considering Microsoft confirmed in March that Windows Blue was only being used as an internal codename. Microsoft hasn’t shared any additional information about what we can expect from Windows 8.1, but will publicly preview the update starting June 26 to coincide with its Build developer conference in San Francisco. This public preview will be available for existing Windows 8 and Windows RT devices.

The Redmond, Wash.-based company is keeping Windows 8.1 features under wraps, but Reller does say that it will “create a richer experience for Windows customers.” Although Microsoft plans to hold off until its Build conference to share what Windows 8.1 is all about, numerous leaks have provided insight as to what we may expect. Reported screenshots and early software builds have hinted that Windows 8.1 will come with more settings options, a revived Start button, a new Alarms app, and more.

Microsoft also announced that the Windows Store now houses more than 70,000 apps, although it still has a long way to go to catch up with the iOS App Store’s 775,000 apps and Google Play’s gargantuan selection of 850,000 apps.