Microsoft on Tuesday released the latest version of its operating system, Windows 8.1, for computer makers, moving a step closer to the final release of the software.

For consumers, Windows 8.1 is scheduled for an October 18 release, Microsoft said on its blog. In the past, release to manufacturers (RTM) meant any software is broadly ready for customer use. However, this time the latest update to Windows 8 OS, which has lagged in sales and customer satisfaction so far, would not be available before October 18.

Many had hoped Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) or Technet customers would get access to the update soon after release to manufacturers.

“We put the finishing touches on Windows 8.1 to ensure a quality experience at general availability on October 18. This is the date when Windows 8.1 would be broadly available for commercial customers with or without volume licensing agreements, our broad partner ecosystem, subscribers to MSDN and TechNet, as well as consumers,” the company said.

The latest update comes 10 months after the release of Windows 8 OS which was launched in an attempt to bridge the gap between PCs and fast-growing mobile devices. However, the software lagged in adoption by mobile manufacturers and other popular softwares like Google’s Andriod continue to lead handheld device market.

According to information technology researcher IDC, Andriod-based devices cornered nearly 77 per cent of market in the April-June quarter. Microsoft said the latest update would improve everything from performance and Internet Explorer 11 to applications and cloud connectivity. The move was a part of a larger effort to grow Windows 8 adoption and better compete against rivals.

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