The Windows 8.1 public preview came out two weeks ago. When can we expect the final release? Microsoft still hasn't set an exact date, but at its Worldwide Partner Conference yesterday, Microsoft's Tami Reller quoted a rough timetable for the OS update's arrival.
According to Reller, the release-to-manufacturing build of Windows 8.1 "will be available for OEM partners in late August." Those partners will be able to get Windows 8.1 devices ready "just in time for the holidays," she says.
Since Windows 8.1 is supposed to be a free upgrade for Windows 8 users, it's possible that the RTM build will be released to the public right away—that is, when it becomes available to OEMs in late August. Then again, it's equally possible that Microsoft will wait until just before the holidays, as it did with Windows 8.
The last public preview of Windows 8 came out on May 28, 2012. The RTM build followed on August 1, but the operating system wasn't officially released until October 26, 2012. The first Windows 8-powered PCs and tablets landed in stores on that date, as well.