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

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.

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.