Microsoft can confirmed that Windows Blue is officially named 8.1 and will be the first update to its flagship OS

Windows Blue officially named 8.1, free update for OS

Free update for Windows 8 coming later in the year, possibly to smaller tablets

The first major update for Windows 8 is coming later in the year under the banner of Windows 8.1.

Previously known by less obvious codename Windows Blue, the free update will do much the same thing as the old service packs through which Microsoft issued major changes to prior operating systems.

The news, reported by Engadget, was broken to attendees of today’s JP Morgan’s Technology Media & Telecom Conference by Microsoft’s Windows Division CMO and CFO Tami Reller.

"It will deliver the latest new innovations across an increasingly broad array of form factors of all sizes, display, battery life and performance, while creating new opportunities for our ecosystem,"," she said, as recorded by Pocket Lint.

"It will provide more options for businesses, and give consumers more options for work and play."

Reller hinted strongly that the update would bring Windows 8 to seven and nine-inch tablets, saying that the operating system was great for everything from "the smallest tablets" to desktops.

In addition, the update seeks to resolve some of the issues consumers and developers have had with the new operating system.

This is rumored to include a solution to Windows 8’s lack of a "start" button.

"The Windows Blue update is also an opportunity for us to respond to the customer feedback that we’ve been closely listening to since the launch of Windows 8 and Windows RT," said Reller.

"From a company-wide perspective, Windows Blue is part of a broader effort to advance our devices and services for Microsoft."

Reller didn’t go in to specifics about a release date, but reminded attendees that "we know when the holdays are."

A preview version will be opened to the public at the begining of Build 2013 on June 26th.

Windows 8 recently hit a sales milestone of 100 million licenses, and over 250 million apps downloaded via the Windows Store.

Sister site Develop has the full story.

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