Microsoft on Tuesday began sending a revamped version of Windows to makers of computers, smartphones or tablets powered by the software.
“We’ve hit an important milestone for Microsoft,” Windows team executive Antoine Leblond said in a blog post.
“In many ways, this marks a new day for Microsoft, reflecting a number of rapid-release firsts,” Leblond said.
Developers of applications tailored to run on Windows devices were irked, however, to find out that they will not get their hands on the finished version of Windows 8.1 until it hits the market in October.
In the past, developers had early access to new versions of Windows to allow time to make sure their applications work with the software.
“Seriously, has Microsoft fallen off its rocker?” a developer asked rhetorically in a chat forum below Leblond’s blog post.
“This decision is yet another that leaves me questioning the judgment of Microsoft’s current management,” the blogger wrote.
Microsoft in June provided developers with a preview version of the “re-blended” Windows 8 operating system released late last year.
Windows 8.1 incorporated feedback from users and developers, and came with the promise that the US software giant was speeding up its release cycle to adapt to the dizzying pace of innovation in consumer technology.
The overhauled Windows 8 operating system released in November last year was designed to power the array Internet-linked devices.
Better adapting to the shifting Internet landscape is believed to be among the reasons behind the announcement last week that Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer will retire within a year.