Chapter 1. An overview of Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1, a free update to Windows 8 and Windows RT, arrives almost exactly a year after Windows 8’s General Availability date. The final version was released to Microsoft’s hardware partners in late August, ensuring that a new wave of hardware devices powered by Windows 8.1 would debut at the same time.

Historically, new versions of Windows have come out roughly every three years, with one or more service packs released in the interim to roll up security and reliability updates. So what’s behind this sudden acceleration in the update process? Does the rapid-fire schedule and the incremental name change mean that Windows ...

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