Windows 8.1, the major update to Windows 8, will launch on Oct. 18, Microsoft announced today.
The company will start rolling out Windows 8.1 at 12 a.m. Oct. 18 in New Zealand (4 a.m. Oct. 17 in local time) as a free update through the Windows Store for current Windows 8 users, according to an official blog post.
Windows 8.1 will also be available at retail and on new devices starting on that date.
Windows 8.1, which debuted in preview form in late June, brings back some of the features Windows 8 users had been clamoring for, including the ability to boot directly to desktop mode and a version of a Start button.
In addition, on Oct. 18, Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2, and the latest update to Windows Intune will be available for download for eligible customers through the TechNet Evaluation Center. New customers be able to purchase them on Nov. 1, Microsoft said.