It's official: Codename Windows Blue is going to be released as Windows 8.1 and a preview will be available for everyone on June 26th. This will be a free update to all current Windows 8 users, but not everything about it has been described as yet. According to Tami Reller, Microsoft's Windows division CEO/CFO, Windows 8.1 will be a free update to Windows 8 and Windows RT, easily installed through the start screen (I notice she said screen as opposed to menu). This is interesting because one thing many people wonder about is whether or not Windows 8.1 will reintroduce the very familiar start button and start menu that many people sorely miss.
On June 26th it should be a very interesting thing to at least observe if not download and install the preview of Windows 8.1. What is known about it now is likely not to be exactly what we do see on that day. We still don't know if there will be a start button or start menu and it is not certain if what we do see then will be very much like what the actual release of Windows 8.1 will include towards the end of this year. Tami Reller's announcement and Q&A session occurred at the JP Morgan technology media and telecom conference, and if you wish you can listen to her comments here.