We already know some of the new features in Windows 8.1 (variable snap views, Internet Explorer 11, a Windows Start tip - just to name a few), including some business-oriented ones (like NFC, Wi-Fi Direct support, and various security improvements). We also know that the OS update will bring Outlook 2013 RT to Windows RT devices. And of course, it’s no secret that a public preview will be made available on June 26, the same week Microsoft is holding its Build developer conference.
What else do we need to know about Windows 8.1? How about a ship date? According to the well-connected Paul Thurrott, Windows 8.1 will ship on ‘8/1’ - that is, August 1. We can’t help but notice that this is just slightly more than a month after the release of the public preview, but since Thurrott used the word ‘ship’, this could very well be the RTM (released to manufacturing) date, instead of general availability date. For those unaware, Windows 8 reached its RTM milestone on August 1 last year, and hit the shelves on October 26. And in between that, various parties (MSDN subscribers, Microsoft Software Assurance customers, Microsoft Partner Network members, Microsoft Action Pack Providers, etc.) were given access to the RTM code.
That being said, Windows 8.1 isn’t a new OS release like Windows 8; it’s more like a service pack for the latter. So, could both the RTM and availability (over the Windows Store) happen on the same day?
Source: Paul Thurrott over Twitter.