Windows 8.1 will be available to existingWindows 8 users as a free update that they can download from the Windows Store starting at 6 a.m. CDT on Oct. 17.
The update will also be available at retail stores the next day.
Among the changes in the new version of the Microsoft operating system is a search feature powered by Bing that shows users results from their own files as well as links and information on the Web.
Users will also have more customization options in Windows 8.1.
Other changes include a new version of Internet Explorer, files saving to the SkyDrive cloud storage service by default, and overall quicker performance.