Windows 8.1 A version of the Windows NT operating system Windows 8 logo and wordmark.svg Windows 8.1 Start screen.jpg Start screen on Windows 8.1 with Update Developer Microsoft Released to manufacturing August 27, 2013; 4 years ago[1] General availability October 17, 2013; 4 years ago[2] Latest release 6.3.9600 / April 8, 2014; 4 years ago[3] Update method Windows Update, Windows Store, Windows Server Update Services Platforms IA-32, x64 Kernel type Hybrid License Trialware, Microsoft Software Assurance, MSDN subscription, Microsoft Imagine Preceded by Windows 8 (2012) Succeeded by Windows 10 (2015) Official website Support status Mainstream support ended on January 9, 2018 Extended support until January 10, 2023 Upgrading to Windows 8.1 is required for Windows 8 users to receive updates and support after January 12, 2016.[4] Part of a series on Windows 8 Windows 8 logo and wordmark.svg Features Editions Windows Store Removed features v t e Windows 8.1 (codenamed Blue) is a computer operating system released by Microsoft. First unveiled and released as a public beta in June 2013, it was released to manufacturing on August 27, 2013, and reached general availability on October 17, 2013, almost a year after the retail release of its predecessor. Windows 8.1 is available free of charge for retail copies of Windows 8 and Windows RT users via the Windows Store. Unlike service packs on previous versions of Windows, users who obtained Windows 8 outside of retail copies or pre-loaded installations (i.e., volume licensing) must obtain Windows 8.1 through new installation media from their respective subscription or enterprise channel. Microsoft's support lifecycle policy treats Windows 8.1 similar to previous service packs of Windows: It is part of Windows 8's support lifecycle, and installing Windows 8.1 is required to maintain access to support and Windows updates after January 12, 2016. However, unlike previous service packs, Windows 8.1 cannot be acquired via Windows Update.