Consider the following: Internet Explorer 11 is available as a preview for Windows 7 or as part of the Windows 8.1 preview, but not for Windows 8. Similarly, PowerShell 4 will run on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, but not Windows 8
— even though it will be available for Windows Server 2012, which is the same core code as Windows 8.
So does this mean Microsoft giving up on Windows 8? Um, no.
Windows 8.1 is
Windows 8, as far as Microsoft is concerned. It's an update to Windows 8 that will be available in the Windows Store, free of charge. It has new APIs that aren't in Windows 8 that Internet Explorer can use.
Windows 8.1 unveiled: will it change your mind about Windows 8?
The Start button is back. But that's just one of a very long list of changes you'll find in Windows 8.1, which will be available as a preview in a few weeks and will be released before the end of the year. Don't let the name or the price tag (free) fool you: this is a major update. Here's what's inside.
Microsoft will port some — but not all — of those back to Windows 7 for IE 11; as we understand it, the HTML5 Media Source Extensions and Encrypted Media Extensions support that lets you stream Netflix in IE 11 without needing a plugin
won't make it to Windows 7