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We are not too far away from finding out the fate of Microsoft's Windows 8.1 update, which is being seen as a great opportunity for the company to redeem itself — especially by those who don’t have greater expectations from Ballmer's departure. The word on the street is that Redmond has already released Windows 8.1 to manufacturing and the update is on track for a general release in October.
According to seasoned Microsoft watcher Paul Thurrott, Microsoft completed the development of Windows 8.1 this past Friday and that it has already been released to manufacturing. All said, Thurrott says that the company will use the time leading up to the free update’s general availability, which is set for October 17, to further test the code and provide OEMs with “Quick Fix Engineering” updates if any issues crop up.
“I exclusively revealed the RTM and build number of Windows 8.1—9600.16384.130821-1623—on Twitter on Friday, just as the Windows client team was signing off on it,” Thurrott in a post on his WindowsITPro Sunday. “I'm told that Windows 8.1 has already been provided to PC and hardware makers.”
The obvious question then is: why hasn't there been any official announcement in the three days since? The answer, if you ask Mary Jo Foley, is that Microsoft wants the media buzz around the announcement of Steve Ballmer's impending retirement to die down. Or in other words, it does not want anything else to overshadow Windows 8.1.
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