Microsoft 8.1 will be available 17 October -

Microsoft's Windows 8 update, Windows 8.1, will roll out in the UK 12PM on the 17th October as a free update for anyone already on the Windows 8 OS, and 4am 17 October in the USA.

The update will be available through the Windows Store for existing customers and will also be available at retail and new devices 18 October.

It'll feature an updated Windows Store and cloud connectivity with the soon-to-be-renamed SkyDrive. The Preview is already available for a quick look here.

Senior marketing comms manager at Microsoft, Brandon LeBlanc, said on the Windows blog that customers will appreciate increased personalisation, IE11, some built in apps "including a few new ones" like Bing Food & Drink.

Customers may not be looking forward to Bing-powered search, which reportedly sends searches on your desktop online to Microsoft servers.

But LeBlanc would not offer any further information in the comments about upcoming apps beyond what was talked about at the Build conference, such as the native Facebook and Foursquare apps.