I was on vacation for a few days, but as was predicted by some in the media, the release date of WS2012R2, SysCtr2012R2, Win8.1, and Intune “Wave E” was announced during the week in two announcements, one for the desktop and one for the server & cloud products.
Windows 8.1 will be available online through the Windows Store to Windows 8 customers starting at 00:00 New Zealand time on October 18th – I think that is midday UK/Irish time on October 17th. October 18th is the GA date, so that’s when you should be able to walk into stores and buy devices with Windows 8.1 already on them. Ideally those will be designed-for-Windows 8.1 devices. However, the Windows 8 release was underwhelming in retail stores around the world so I’m not holding my breath this time around – screw the political correctness, the manufacturers (including Microsoft Surface) did a shite job for the release of Windows 8. The new devices listed in the Windows 8 announcement are already on the market (some less-so than others).
There is no news of TechNet & MSDN release dates for Windows 8.1 but I suspect Windows 8.1 will be made available universally on Oct 18th. That’s because that is also the release plan for WS & SC 2012 R2 and Windows Intune “Wave E”. Everything is happening all at once on Oct 18th.
Note that new VL purchases will be possible on November 1st when the price list is updated.