Windows Blue 8.1 download release date TODAY (preview it here)

Windows 8.1 preview for download within hours.


Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) release date for the Windows Blue preview is here. It'll be formally announced at the BUILD 2013 developer conflab.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers warm up their leech managers.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Mark Hachman knifes Redmond in the back:

[At] Microsoft’s Build 2013 developer conference [today] the company faces a daunting task.’s hard to make a Band-Aid look like a fresh innovation.


[There'll be] a new boot-to-desktop feature, but Windows 8.1 still needs to address a laundry list of other issues. ... First and foremost, Build is a developer’s conference. ... It all comes down to convincing developers that the new Windows ecosystem offers...return on investment.


I’ve used Windows 8 for months, and...I do appreciate what Microsoft is doing. ... For example, setting up a third-party device just works. ... [It] requires less memory than Windows 7, and the required disk storage should drop with Windows 8.1. ... Windows 8 is a toned, stylish, polished professional athlete. But it’s wearing clown makeup.  MORE

Et Janet I. Tu, Brute? [You're fired -Ed.] this year’s Build, Microsoft’s annual conference for third-party San Francisco’s Moscone Center, the focus will be on an updated version of...Windows 8.1. ... Getting developers excited about creating applications for Microsoft’s platforms is integral to those platforms’ success.


So speakers at Build will be highlighting the unique capabilities of Windows 8.1. ... Developers would like to get more clarity...on building business applications — everything from the steps required to build a business app [for] the Windows Store to how to get that app to stand out.  MORE

So Preston Gralla sings his usual refrain:

Windows 8.1 will likely fix Windows 8's woes, but PC sales will still take a nose dive.


Microsoft's glory days are behind it. Once it essentially monopolised personal computing. ... Windows 8 clearly isn't going to help. ... For a big change, we may have to wait until Windows 9.  MORE

Meanwhile, Clare Hopping is hoping to download it later today:

The Windows 8.1 preview version will be available to download. ... The update that will be released after the [9am] keynote is supposed to be used by Microsoft's partners and developers, but...will be available to anyone. ... The general release of the software will be released later in the year - possibly August 1.


[The] improvements include...ability to start in Desktop mode...a Start-button...multiple apps...Website, app and document previews [and support for] smaller tablets. ... There are also rumors that a new version of Windows Phone will be announced today.  MORE

But Sean Gallagher already has it (via Technet, or perhaps MSDN):

There are a few subtle changes to the Start screen. ... The "Start" button is back, in a manner of speaking. ... A click launches the Start screen.


When you search from Windows 8.1's search "charm" can now search across the Web using Bing in addition to searching your PC. ... Search will present local results first. ... You can also narrow the search to Web images or...videos.


Microsoft has reorganized the "Metro" settings interface to make it easier to navigate. ... Setting corners and edges behavior now has its own screen. ... Search and Windows 8 apps controls have been lumped together. ... Privacy also gets its own submenu of setting pages.  MORE

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