Windows 8.1 will be available to PC makers in late August

Microsoft has just confirmed that the full version of Windows 8.1 will be sent to OEMs in August, indicating that the update will be released for users later this year.

Windows 8.1 will be ready to be loaded onto PCs by late August, says Microsoft on its official Windows blog.
Tami Reller, Microsoft's chief marketing officer for Windows, announced at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference that Windows 8.1 RTM (release to manufacturing) is at the end of August.

Windows 8.1 is the first major update to Windows 8, and Microsoft had previously announced it would be available as a free download to Windows 8 customers in time for the 2013 holiday season.

In addition to revealing the date for Windows 8.1 RTM, Reller also said Microsoft would launch something called User Experience Design Competency. As described, the program is intended to outline the best ways to train software designers to create the best apps for Windows 8 and get recognized for their work.

Microsoft is also launching another program called TouchWins, a commercial channel created to provide incentives to retailers to sell touch-enabled PCs that best showcase the Windows 8 Pro experience.