Microsoft will release Windows 8.1, the first large update to Windows 8, in October according to a new report published on Tuesday. Microsoft released a preview of the update in late June, and reports in July suggested that the final build was on schedule to ship to manufacturing partners at the end of this month. The Verge said Microsoft’s release to manufacturing schedule is still set to meet that deadline, but that updates to existing machines aren’t expected until October.
The Windows update will reportedly make its debut alongside new 7-inch and 8-inch devices running the operating system. Microsoft is apparently hard at work on its own new Surface tablets with those screen sizes, though it’s unclear if they’ll launch at the same time as Windows 8.1 or if they’ll come at a later date.
Windows 8.1 delivers a number of improvements, including the re-emergence of the Start menu. It also allows users to tweak the sizes of Live tiles with a new smaller option, changes to multitasking (a tweaked Snap View), and the ability to boot straight to the desktop.