Microsoft on Tuesday announced Windows Blue will be officially called Windows 8.1. Furthermore, the new version will arrive as a free Windows 8 update via the Windows Store.

The news was revealed at the JP Morgan Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in Boston, by Tami Reller, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Windows. Microsoft also noted there are more than 70,000 apps in the Windows Store, a noteworthy number but still a far cry from Android, iOS, and even Windows Phone.

On the Blogging Windows blog, Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft’s Communications Manager for Windows, detailed where the company is coming from with its Windows 8.1 vision:

During her remarks today, Tami reiterated our goal of delivering continual updates to create a richer experience for Windows customers. Windows 8.1 is part of that and continues the journey we first began with Windows 8 last fall. Windows 8.1 will help us to deliver the next generation of PCs and tablets with our OEM partners and to deliver the experiences customers— both consumers and businesses alike —need and will just expect moving forward.

That doesn’t say much, now does it? LeBlanc says Microsoft plans to share more about Windows 8.1 “in the coming weeks.”

A public preview of Windows 8.1, for both Windows 8 and Windows RT, will be available starting on June 26. This is timed with the first day of Microsoft’s Build 2013 developer conference in San Francisco, where the first major details about the operating system update will be released.

Rumor has it that Windows 8.1 will also launch along with multiple devices featuring smaller screen sizes. All of this will likely be slated for the 2013 holiday season.

See also – As Windows 8 crosses the 100 million sales mark, Tami Reller breaks down Microsoft’s vision for the OS and Locked out of Build? Microsoft will release a few more tickets this Wednesday

Top Image Credit: Dell Inc.