While OEM partners are waiting to get the RTM bits of Windows 8.1, a pre-RTM version Windows 8.1 has been leaked on P2P networks. The leaked version is the 64-bit version of Windows 8.1 Pro Build 9471.
Comparing with the public preview, the build 9471 of Windows 8.1 includes several new features and improvements. Microsoft had promised a redesign of the communication app, but didn’t fit in Windows 8.1 Preview. However the new versions of Mail, Calendar and Contacts are integrated in build 9471. Especially the e-mail client now allows a better email management via a three-column layout that supports drag and drop. The side panel shows incoming mail, favorites, flagged messages, newsletters and social updates, and the various folders (trash, drafts, spam, etc…)
Now all Modern apps have received a button with three ( … ) dots, just like Windows Phone apps, which allows quick access to settings and options. Also, the app now suggests the gestures to be made to access the Charms bar.
Interestingly, Microsoft has grouped several short-tutorial videos, in new Help + Tips app that explain how to navigate the operating system, access files and account settings, perform basic functions and switch between apps.
The leak has also confirmed the integration of SkyDrive in the Photos app and the removal of Facebook and Flickr.
Meanwhile, a member of the Russian site PCPortal has shared a screenshot of Windows 8.1 Build 9478, which belongs to the RTM branch. The screenshot exhibits build string 9478.0.winblue_rtm_130804-1505. It seems Microsoft is getting closer to the final version of Windows 8.1 that is a first major Windows 8 upgrade at absolutely no cost.