At 4am Pacific Time this morning, the Windows team announced the global availability of Windows 8.1. This is a free update that brings with it a wealth of new features and improvements to Windows 8, and it will be a significant update for your Surface RT or Surface Pro. From the beginning, we designed Surface to be the ultimate stage for Windows, and this first major update since Surface launched is a very big deal. It represents great work by the Windows team – who have listened to customer feedback and delivered a fantastic product – as well as by teams across Microsoft who have worked on the new and improved apps and servicesthat make Windows 8.1 brilliant.
If you are a consumer (not an enterprise user – that’s a separate process that your IT department will enable) with a Surface RT or Surface Pro running Windows 8, you can now download the free update to Windows 8.1 online through the Windows Store*.
You should begin by first visiting Windows.com/buy to learn about the update, as well as how to get it. Likewise, if you’re already running the Windows 8.1 Preview, this page will detect your operating system and provide you with all the information you need to get Windows 8.1 on your device. We also recommend that you read the FAQ, which will answer many of the most common questions about getting the Windows 8.1 update.
There are too many new features and improvements to go through them in this post, but you’ll notice much of what’s new in Windows 8.1 immediately – things like the greater flexibility you’ll have as you customize the start screen, the return of the start button on the desktop, improved multi-tasking, an updated Windows Store experience, and Bing Smart Search. Others you will discover as you start using Windows 8.1 and try the new and improved apps and services – things like the updated Mail App, Xbox Music, Internet Explorer 11, and the improved cloud integration with SkyDrive. The Windows Blogis the best source of information on what’s new (in fact, they’ve been posting in-depth pieces about these and other 8.1 updates for weeks), though we’ll have plenty to say in this space as well about the updated experience of running Windows 8.1 on Surface.
You’re going to love your Surface with Windows 8.1. To all of our current customers – go get the update, and enjoy! For those who don’t have a Surface RT or Surface Pro to update, remember that you can get all the goodness of Windows 8.1 on Surface Pro 2 and Windows 8.1 RT on Surface 2 beginning on Tuesday, October 22nd.
Senior Manager – Microsoft Surface
*Internet access required; fees may apply.