Microsoft will be rolling out the final version of Windows 8.1 by the end of this month, but a leaked near-finished build (9471) gives looks into coming changes and features.

Windows8.1 300x168 Near finished build of Windows 8.1 leaked   gives good idea of finished product

Today, The Verge released details about the 8.1 update to Windows 8, which it acquired through the leaked 9471 build of the operating system, which is a test version of the RTM (Release to Manufacturers) version of Windows 8.1.

One of Microsoft’s obvious goals with the update is to help improve the ease of transition from early, more sensible versions of Windows, to Windows 8 and its various quirks.

In the latest build, Microsoft includes a new Help + Tips app, packed with video tutorials for using the operating system.

Also new in Windows 8.1 will be a group of three dots to help users locate the applications bar.

Context menus in the operating system have been changed to more closely resemble those now found in Windows Phone 8

Built in apps now come with tips instructing users to swipe in order to access the Charms, a feature sometimes frustratingly elusive to first time users of Windows 8.

Microsoft has not restored Facebook and Flickr integration in Windows 8.1. These were dropped in an earlier preview version of Windows 8.1, and the changes appear solidified. Microsoft has, however, completed integration with SkyDrive into the Photos app.

Unfortunately, The Verge made no indication that the Start Menu will make a comeback along with the Start Button in the Windows 8 desktop environment. Of all reservations that people tend to have with Windows 8, the absence of a Desktop start menu is probably the greatest.

Nevertheless, Windows 8.1 will be some step forward, and will hopefully help Microsoft to undo at least some of the frustration it wrought with the first version of Windows 8.

Source: The Verge