One month out from release, Microsoft has announced the official pricing and packaging for Windows 8.1 The newest version of the Windows operating system will be available as a free download for Windows 8 users starting on October 17th from the Windows Store. All of the features Microsoft announced earlier this year will be included in the update. Windows users who do not currently run Windows 8 will be able to buy the upgrade online or at a brick and mortar retailer. Windows 8.1 will cost $119.99 and Windows 8.1 Pro will cost $199.99. Windows 8.1 Pro Pack, which adds Pro features to the regular version of the software, will cost $99.99.
One significant difference between purchasing Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 is that 8.1 will be the “full version software” of the operating system. It does not require a machine that is already running Microsoft’s OS, unlike Windows 8, which is only sold as an “upgrade version.” Microsoft has also included instructions for non-Windows 8 users looking to upgrade next month.
Windows 7: Consumers can upgrade a Windows 7 PC which will bring along all their files, but will require them to reinstall desktop apps including Microsoft Office.
Windows XP & Windows Vista: Windows 8.1 is not designed for installation on devices running Windows XP or Windows Vista. Although not designed or recommended for devices running Windows XP or Windows Vista, consumers still wanting to upgrade from Windows XP or Windows Vista should buy the retail DVD instead of using the download and boot from the DVD to do a clean install of Windows 8.1. Note: files, settings and programs will not transfer – Consumers will need to back up their files and settings, perform clean installation, and then reinstall their files, settings and programs.