The Chinese are good for quite a few things, such as cheap durable goods and having no qualms about ripping off brand names of popular US brands. Additionally, they are also quite good about leaking upcoming gadgets and letting us know when Microsoft releases updated builds of Windows to its OEM partners.
Win8China is reporting that build 9477 has been sent off to the OEMs for testing and that the platform has reportedly entered the escrow stage, which means that features are now locked down. Provided the above is true, Microsoft is in full-swing to hit its deadline of reaching RTM in August.
As we have already seen, Windows 8.1 will bring a boatload of new features to the Windows 8 platform and has been referred to by Steve Ballmer as a ‘refined blend’ of the Windows 8 formula. One of the biggest changes the update will bring is the return of the famous Start button; in addition, there are many improvements to the new Modern UI as well.
Microsoft is hoping that Windows 8.1 will help to improve the consumer perception of Windows 8 as it has often been reported that the lack of a Start button and the new Modern UI have been jarring to new users.
It’s clear that Windows 8.1 is the result of Microsoft listening to consumer feedback and - seeing the significant changes that the update brings to the platform - if you don’t like something about the update, it’s best that you let Microsoft know.