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(Pocket-lint) - Microsoft confirmed on Tuesday that the next big update to Windows, codenamed Windows Blue, will be available to users in June in the form of a preview.

Speaking at the Wired Business Conference, Julie Larson-Green, head of Windows engineering, said that Windows Blue will be available in the form of a public preview to all Windows 8 users at the end of June. The timing makes sense, given Microsoft has set its Build developer conference for 26-28 June. Presumably Microsoft will use Build to take a look at features and the method for downloading the preview.

Announcing on Monday that Windows 8 had been downloaded 100 million times, Microsoft dropped further information about the Windows 8.1 update. Tami Reller, chief financial officer, said that Windows 8.1 would bring a host of new features to the platform. "Windows Blue is a codename for an update that will be available later this year, building on the bold vision set forward with Windows 8 to deliver the next generation of tablets and PCs," she said, without going into specifics.


Early builds of Windows 8.1 have leaked to the internet, giving us a look at a few features. Most significantly, the update will bring Start Screen sync between different PCs, syncing tabs between Internet Explorer 11 instances, further SkyDrive integration throughout the OS, and more.

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Windows 8.1 is expected to hit retail before Christmas. Larson-Green revealed that it would be available through the Windows Store, rather than Windows Update like previous releases. 

Writing by Jake Smith.