Windows 8 app developers should get an early look at the Windows 8.1 final code, Miller said, so they could test their apps against the update and start work on revisions -- and new apps -- that take advantage of 8.1's new features and functionality.
Microsoft hopes that Windows 8.1 sparks interest in the radically changed operating system. Users have shown little interest in Windows 8, which at the end of July accounted for about 6 percent of all copies of Windows used that month to go online, according to metrics firm Net Applications.
That compared poorly to Windows 7, which at the same point in its post-release timeline was powering 17.3 percent of all Windows systems.
Microsoft did not immediately reply to questions about Windows 8.1's availability on MSDN.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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