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Microsoft's Tami Reller has revealed a few more details about the next version of Windows, codenamed Windows Blue. Most notably, she said the update will officially be called "Windows 8.1," and it will be free for current Windows 8 license holders.
CNET's Jay Greene reported, "The update to the struggling Windows 8 operating system, known by the code name 'Blue,' will be called Windows 8.1, a naming convention that Microsoft has used for its software updates for years. Tami Reller, the chief marketing officer and chief financial officer of Microsoft's Windows division, disclosed the name during a speech at J.P. Morgan's Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in Boston this morning."
The Wall Street Journal's Shira Ovide observed, "The software expected in coming months will effectively be a second launch of Windows 8, the operating system that debuted last October to great fanfare but fairly tepid sales. But the Windows 8.1 name underscores that Microsoft considers the revised software a relatively minor update and not a do-over, which would point to fundamental problems with the original product."
PCMag's Chloe Albanesius noted, "Reller declined to provide an exact release date for Windows 8.1, but said that Microsoft is 'very sensitive to the timing of the holidays.' Ideally, Microsoft will be able to provide devices with Windows 8.1 pre-loaded in time for the holiday 2013 season, Reller said, but those who purchase a Windows 8 device later this year will be able to easily upgrade to 8.1."
The Register's Gavin Clarke added, "Reller did not say what features would be wrapped in Windows 8.1, but last week she revealed that the company’s planning major changes to key parts of Windows 8 following 'customer feedback.' A significant proportion of that feedback is centered on customers' difficulties with the fact that Windows 8 has dumped the classic desktop at startup in favour of the new, Metro touch-oriented UI."