Tami Reller, Windows CMO and CFO took a stage at Microsoft's annual World Partner Conference in Huston Texas and she mentioned the official 8.1 release date. Before she got to this point she announced that Windows 8 sold some 100 million licenses with some 20 million enterprise evaluations and Windows 8 logged 60 billons hours in use. We wonder how much of these 60 billion hours belongs to Prism.
She has announced that Windows 8.1 RTM (Release to Manufacturer) will be available for OEM partners in late August. This date means that they should all be ready for the holiday shopping seasons and new Windows 8.1 touch enabled devices.
One of the features demonstrated at the conference was the demo of Window 8.1 optimised for small form factor devices and portrait view. Jensen Harris demonstrated Miracast as well, a feature that might become a nice competitor to Intel's WiDi and Apples Air Play. All app screens got improved, there is more space on the desktop screen, but we have to admit that the start button still doesn’t do what a seasoned Windows 7 user would expect it to do. The search is better and overall it feels that this is what Window 8 was supposed to be at launch.
At least we will give Microsoft a benefit of a doubt and be lucky that they at least listen and try to make things better, unlike some other companies that will go unnamed.
You can see more hands on and a demo here.