Are you waiting for Windows 8.1, codenamed “Blue,” and the return of the Start Menu? You are going to need to hold your breath a bit longer than originally thought. Nevertheless, Microsoft remains roughly on track to deliver a major update by the one-year anniversary of the Windows 8 release — hurray?

Long-time Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley writes that Windows 8.1 is being delayed with both user updates and OEM release pushed out until mid-October.

“The new word, one of my best tipsters tells me, Microsoft is going to hold off on making available the final Windows 8.1 bits until mid-October 2013 or so,” writes Foley. “That will be both the general availability date, as well as the ‘launch’ date when new hardware running those bits will be available.”

Further, Microsoft won’t be pushing Windows 8.1 betas to its Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) and TechNet subscribers — that was supposed to happen by the end of the month.

Bad news out of the way, Redmond still plans to push Windows 8.1 RTM (release to manufacturing) pre-release code to OEMs by the end of August, which gives partners four to six weeks to test and deliver Windows Blue boxen in time for the Christmas buying season.

Disappointed? Feel an overwhelming need to scream? Vent your spleen in the comments below…

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