Microsoft to Name New Software Windows 8.1, and It’s Free

Microsoft announced Tuesday the updated version of its Windows 8 operating system — which had been code-named Windows Blue — will be called Windows 8.1, and it will be available for free to encourage as many people as possible to take up the new software.

The software expected in coming months will effectively be a second launch of Windows 8, the operating system that debuted last October to great fanfare but fairly tepid sales. But the Windows 8.1 name underscores that Microsoft considers the revised software a relatively minor update and not a do-over, which would point to fundamental problems with the original product.

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