It was just recently rumored that the Windows 8.1 update for Windows 8 would begin rolling out to the general public sometime in mid-October, and Microsoft has confirmed this morning, that is indeed true. Windows 8.1 will begin taking off on October 18, starting at midnight in New Zealand, which would be the 17th for those in the US.
After this date, all new Windows 8 devices will have the update pre-installed, and we should also be seeing a handful of new computers and other devices make their launch around this time as well, including the possibility of 7-inch and 8-inch Windows tablets, marking the first time we would see such smaller devices come to the market.
It was rumored yesterday that Windows 8.1 would roll out at some point in October, and it seems sources were right on the money. Furthermore, PC makers will receive the final version of the update later this month in an RTM version. The general public was supposed to initially get the update this month, but the reason for the delay of the official launch date is suspected to allow OEMs to finalize their own testing and drivers for the update, so that new hardware is ready to go come launch day.
A leaked build of the update was leaked a couple of days ago, and it shows the latest features being added to Microsoft's latest OS, including helpful tutorials to assist first-time users. The update also brings back the much-missed Start button, but it sadly doesn't offer the same functionality as in past Windows versions, but it's at least there now.
Overall, Windows 8.1 will bring a lot of new functionality to the operating system, and will address many of the complaints that users have had about Windows 8 for quite a while. The update will be huge addition to Windows 8 -- possibly even more impactful than what Service Packs were in Windows 7 and previously.