Windows 8.1 Start screen filled with tiles

Windows 8.1 RTM will release late August, Microsoft says

Just over a week after the release of the public preview of Windows 8.1, Microsoft says on Monday, during the Worldwide Partners Conference 2013, that Windows 8.1 RTM will release “late August”, in time to ensure the updated operating system is included in all the PCs by the holiday season.

Windows 8.1 isn’t a new operating, although there are so many small changes and improvements that can easily fool anyone. This is just an update to address many of the shortcoming from the operating system, such as the return of the Start button, boot to desktop option, a redesigned Metro-styled Control Panel (which Microsoft calls PC settings), deeper cloud integration with SkyDrive, a new search experience on Windows powered by Bing search engine, new apps (e.g., Reading List, Food & Drink, Alarm, etc.), and much more.

Windows 8.1 is a “refined blend” – Steve Ballmer

The software giant also promised that Windows 8.1 will be available for free to all current Windows 8 and Windows RT users. However the company didn’t specified when customers will be able to download the final bits. “We’ll have more details to share in the coming months for consumers and other customers on how to get Windows 8.1″ — Brandon LeBlanc said today at Blogging Windows. According to Mary Jo Foley, new PCs may start showing up with the new update by early September or October, and it’s possible that users will be able to download and install Windows 8.1 shortly after the release to manufacturers.

Do you want to take a wild guess of the actual date? Previously we heard from Paul Thurrott that it could be possible that the final version of Windows will be released on August 1st, because of the annotation 8/1. But now that Microsoft confirms that Windows 8.1 RTM will release “late August”, my guess is that it could be on August 18th. What do you think?