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Microsoft Windows 8 Update will be Free

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NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft says a planned update to its Windows 8 operating system will be made available for free later this year.

The update is meant to address complaints and confusion that have been blamed for deepening a slump in personal computer sales. Microsoft isn’t saying what kind of changes will be introduced with the release of the new system, though Microsoft plans to make a preview version available next month. The release of the final version is expected in time for the holiday season.

Microsoft Corp. announced the update last week, but wouldn’t say at the time whether consumers would have to pay for it.

Codenamed Blue, the update now has an official moniker: Windows 8.1.

Microsoft made the announcement at an investors conference in Boston on Tuesday.