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The Boston Globe

Business

Windows 8 update will be free

NEW YORK — A planned Windows 8 update to address complaints and confusion with Microsoft’s new operating system will be made available for free this year, the company said Tuesday.

Microsoft also announced a name for the update: Windows 8.1.

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Not charging extra for Windows 8.1 is consistent wit h the company’s practice of offering ‘‘decimal point’’ updates to operating systems for free. However, when Microsoft Corp. announced the update last week, it didn’t say that it would be free.

The company also hadn’t disclosed the system’s formal name, leaving open the possibility that it would be a larger update, perhaps to Windows 9. The update had been known simply by its code name, Blue.

Tami Reller, the marketing and financial chief for Microsoft’s Windows business, said the company wants to assure customers that they can buy Windows 8 now and still get the benefits of Windows 8.1 later.

Reller offered few details about Windows 8.1, but she reiterated that it would be better suited for smaller, less expensive tablets with 7- and 8-inch display screens.

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