Microsoft is nearly finished with the next version of its Windows OS for tablets and PCs, but the company will apparently be keeping the final version away from users until October.
This is according to ZDNet‘s Mary Jo Foley, who sited the ever-resourceful sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans as the source for this information.
Microsoft will be pushing out a RTM release this month but consumers will have to wait until October for their taste of the new and much improved OS (unless of course you’re like me and downloaded the Preview version). Partners and manufacturers will be able to utilize this time to finalize and test their drivers for compatibility before the official rollout. Microsoft will also be able to patch and fix the system between now and then as well to ensure bugs are eradicated.
New 7-inch and 8-inch tablets powered by Windows 8.1 will be the norm once the new OS is released, and users can also look forward to new smaller Live Tiles, larger Live Tiles (see our screenshot above) as well as a better search engine and better “Snap” ability for apps that allows a theoretically unlimited number of apps to be placed side by side (depending on your screen resolution), up from only two in Windows 8.
A near-final version of the update leaked to the internet recently, giving users a better look at the changes between Preview and RTM. Microsoft is adding in a number of tutorials and new menus. Many users did not want to upgrade to Windows 8 due to its completely new interface, and hopefully Windows 8.1 will be enough to appease most of them.
For those of you who have upgraded and are grumbling at having to wait a little longer, look on the bright side. This will give you a little more time to say good-bye to that messaging app we know you love so much before it’s replaced by Skype in the new OS.