Are you ready for a sneak peek into Windows 8.1 aka Windows Blue, the next version for Windows 8? If so, be sure to charge your device batteries because tonight, Microsoft will release the preview - free of charge to everyone. As Microsoft confirmed in an earlier tweet, the preview version will be available right after the Build keynote which Microsoft will stream live from San Francisco. The annual Build conference for developers is the place where the software (and service) giant shares updates and talks about what's next for Windows, Windows Server, Windows Azure, Visual Studio, and more. Windows Phone wasn't mentioned at all; but let's see.
Earlier this month Microsoft has already given a sneak peek of what Windows 8 and Windows RT owners can expect, summarized in the video bellow.
In the old Windows days, this kind of feature upgrade was called Service Pack, now it's a 0.1 upgrade but much better than the Windows Vista to Windows 7 pay-upgrade, users had to pay for because Windows 7 became what Windows Vista was promised to be. Nevertheless, Microsoft learned and this time existing Windows 8 and Window RT owners will get the upgrade for free and tonight, Microsoft is starting with the distribution of the preview which is - as the name says - not the final product. So if you need a reliable operating system on your PC or tablet, you might want to wait with the upgrade. Nevertheless, if you want to experience the next version of Windows, you'll be able to either upgrade your current system straight from the Windows Store on your device, which will work the same as installing an app; or as a clean and fresh installation from an ISO image which Microsoft will also offer. It will be even possible to run Windows 8 and Windows 81. next to each other as a dual-boot installation.
What I can personally hardly await is the release of Microsoft Outlook for Windows RT. The inbuilt Mail, Calnedar and Contacts apps are ok, but Mail is far away from being a professional tool!
More info to be unveiled tonight at the keynote at 18:00 o'clock (CET) / 9am (PST). Stay tuned for the live stream.
Cheers ~ Arne