Windows chief Tami Reller announced on Monday that the company’s PC and tablet vendor partners will receive a near-final version of Windows 8.1 in late August. This will give PC makers enough time with the software to ready new devices that will launch before the holiday shopping season begins. The update to the oft-criticized Windows 8 operating system will mark the return of the Start button, sort of, and it will deliver enhancements to desktop mode, changes to the Start screen, multitasking enhancements and more. Microsoft made a preview of the update available to the general public late last month. Windows 8.1 is slated to arrive as a free update for Windows 8 users later this year.