Windows 8.1, formerly known as Windows Blue, will be a free update

Tyler Wilde at

Microsoft announced on its blog today that Windows 8.1, previously called "Windows Blue," will release as a free update on the Windows Store, with a public preview coming June 26. According to the post, the update will help "deliver the experiences customers—both consumers and businesses alike—need and will just expect moving forward."

That's vague, of course—not even I know what I need. I mean, if I were updating Windows 8, where would I start? Would I start on the desktop? Hm, start on the desktop...I feel like I'm on to something, but I just can't put my finger on it. Can't put my finger on it. Huh, there's something there, I swear it.

We do have some idea of what to expect, thanks to leaked versions of Windows Blue and the surrounding rumors. The news is somewhat promising, but if you aren't already a fan of Windows 8's tablet-oriented UI design, we don't expect any dramatic shift away from it. That's what Classic Shell is for.