Those who don’t already have Windows 8 on their desktops and laptops can now preorder Microsoft’s new Windows 8.1 software from the company’s online store. The Windows 8.1 update is set to become available to the public in two weeks on October 18th. While preordering the updated operating system will not afford users any discounts, it will secure them a copy on launch day â though we doubt Microsoft will run out of launch-day inventory, especially where the digital download is concerned. Windows 8.1 will be considered a minor update by most end users, though it does include a few important new features they will appreciate. Chief among them are the return of the Start button â it’s a much different Start button, but it’s still a Start button â and the ability to log in and boot directly to Desktop mode. Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 update is free for Windows 8 users, who will have access to the update one day early on October 17th, and it starts at $120 for Windows 7 users. A link to preorder the software can be found below in our source section.