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(Pocket-lint) - Microsoft has released the free update of Windows 8.1 for Windows 8 and Windows RT device users via the Windows Store. Businesses now have access to the final versions of Windows 8.1 Pro and Windows 8.1 Enterprise.

Windows 8.1 will also be available on new devices and as boxed software from 18 October. 

Updates include:

  • An improved, more customisable Start screen with variable tile sizes, more background designs and colours to make each Windows device look unique.
  • Now you can chose to boot up at the Start screen or directly in good old fashion Windows desktop.
  • The Start button has also returned as well as an updated apps view.
  • Search with Bing has been enhanced for instant online or local searching from the Start screen.
  • You can now enjoy native support for 3D printing making it easy as plug-and-play for all.
  • Up to four apps can be used at once side by side with easy screen resizing as well as improved multi-monitor support.
  • Sky Drive is also more heavily integrated making backing up files and using them across devices much easier.
  • The Windows Store has also had a refresh making keeping up to date easier.

So if you're considering an update and want to know more, read our guide: Windows 8.1 now available: Everything you need to know before you install and the make sure you check out our Windows 8.1 tips and tricks: Here's what your PC or tablet can do now feature.

Writing by Luke Edwards. Originally published on 17 October 2013.