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Do devs and IT pros get Windows 8.1 early? Not even Microsoft knows

Gregg Keizer | Aug. 16, 2013
Conflicting statements by company reps cause confusion, and Microsoft won't clarify.

If Microsoft followed the same timetable as it did in 2012 with Windows 8, it would offer Windows 8.1 to MSDN and TechNet subscribers two weeks after the latter is tagged with the RTM label.

In 2012, Microsoft announced Windows 8 RTM on Aug. 1 and published the operating system on the subscription services on Aug. 15. The company also began offering a 90-day trial of Windows 8 Enterprise that same day.

Wes Miller, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft, has criticized Microsoft's decision, if in fact the company has decided. "That would be a mistake," said Miller in a Tuesday interview. "They have to get it out there as soon as possible."

Microsoft has been blasted for the lack of high-quality, in-demand apps on its Windows 8 and Windows RT app store, the sole distribution channel for touch-enabled apps designed for the new tile-based "Modern," ne "Metro" user interface. Miller's point was that Windows 8 app developers should get an early look at the Windows 8.1 final code so they can test their apps against the update and start work on revisions — and new apps — that take advantage of the update's features and functionality.


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