Windows 8.1 to be available on October 17th, free upgrade for existing users

Microsoft has just made Windows 8.1’s release date official, and it is right on schedule for the operating system’s one-year anniversary.

Windows 8.1, a free upgrade to existing users, will be available on October 17th digitally, and for purchase for new users in stores on October 18th.

Along with an overhauled homescreen that allows users to skip directly to the desktop, Windows 8.1 brings a new Mail app, significantly smarter Bing search, Internet Explorer 11, a better Windows Store experience, significantly deeper SkyDrive integration, and more.