October 17th is here, and as previously announced by Microsoft Windows 8.1 is now shipping.

Microsoft’s service pack/update for Windows 8 is being distributed through the Windows 8 Store. Microsoft is apparently doing a staggered rollout, so it’s not visible from every copy of Windows 8 right away, but going through a link to the update from Microsoft’s website will bring up the update regardless of whether it’s visible or not. Meanwhile for users on Windows 7 Microsoft will eventually be selling an updated, retail version of the Windows 8.1 package, though that’s not available quite yet.

As a reminder, Windows 8.1 brings with it a number of the changes, including several changes to the Metro/Modern layer such as adjustments to tile management and window snapping, however there are some low level changes that techies will also be interested in. Among other things, Windows 8.1 will ship with support for Intel’s Connected Standby technology for Haswell, Direct3D 11.2, and a revised DPI scaling mechanism that is better suited for driving the high DPI displays that are coming down the pipeline for both Ultrabooks and desktops.

The size of the update will vary depending on the platform, but for Windows 8 Pro we're seeing 3.42GB, so it goes without saying that this will not be a light download.

Source: Microsoft

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  • fabiogallo - Friday, October 18, 2013 - link

    Funny...not.

    Shame on MS, that doesn't support its own stuff.
    Reply
  • inighthawki - Thursday, October 17, 2013 - link

    The number of changes in 8.1 is pretty astounding. You're doing it a pretty big disservice calling it a service pack. There's quite a bit of new functionality, way more than any service pack has ever brought. Reply
  • hughlle - Thursday, October 17, 2013 - link

    It's the same operating system, and in my eyes, they have serviced it to being more usable. A lot of the additions are not new features, but rather feautres it should have had. Imo of course. Reply
  • Kevin G - Thursday, October 17, 2013 - link

    XP SP2 actually added a lot to XP and changed many defaults, specially relating to security. Though it has been a 9 years since that service pack hit. Since then MS has shy'd away from introducing new features or interface changes until major updates. Reply
  • B3an - Thursday, October 17, 2013 - link

    XP SP2 still didn't add even close to 10% as many new things as 8.1 adds. And SP2 features were needed purely because of massive security problems and the unusually long time XP was going to be around for. Reply
  • Penti - Thursday, October 17, 2013 - link

    SP2 brought a lot, DX9.0c, DEP, Windows Firewall (enabled by default), security center, better WiFi support, Bluetooth-support, and so on. Pretty much all the stuff normally associated with XP.

    But UI changes, which normally holds over a release shows how poorly and unready they were for 8. Adding other features don't necessarily show that though. It's not quite what SP2 were for enterprise users though.
    Reply
  • HollyDOL - Friday, October 18, 2013 - link

    Wasn't such an easymode for me, the installation took about 10 minutes but left me with no sound (partially blame Creative) and no antivirus/firewall. Reinstalling sound card drivers fixed the no-sound, but broken sound card control panel. When I gave up with "well at least it plays now" I got message pop-up telling me "devices need to finish installation"... didn't mention what devices... Few Yes/Next/Ok etc. and control panel works again.
    Too bad Avira security solution (fw/antivirus) is not compatibile with 8.1 yet... and that reminds me I need to check whether Alcohol 120% works.
    Reply
  • gobaers - Thursday, October 17, 2013 - link

    Here's the real question: for non-enterprise usage, it's it time to move to 8? Reply
  • OoklaTheMok - Thursday, October 17, 2013 - link

    Yeah, it's time to move to 8.1 ;) Reply
  • Da W - Thursday, October 17, 2013 - link

    Only thing i hated in the preview was how they set up skydrive by default and auto-hide libraries. I've spent years building my library system, with skydrive AND dropbox integrated + all excess files moves on my E: drive on my big desktop but still listed in my libraries with acess on my surface via home network. I don't know if they fixed it up, but in the preview they f*** up my system big time. Enough to retrograde to Win7 on my desktop at least. Reply

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