The Windows 8.1 update is a month away from release and Microsoft has revealed the pricing and packaging details for those currently not using Windows 8. Existing Windows 8 users will simply have to download the free update when it becomes available but it’s a whole different story for everybody else.
If you’re not using Windows 8, then you will have to purchase the full licensed copy of Windows 8.1. There are two versions available as before, standard and Pro. The standard version will be priced at $119.99 and the Pro version will be priced at $199.99.
These prices are critical to those running an older version of Windows, or want a new copy of Windows to do a fresh install. If you remember, Windows 8 was only released as an update and not as a full version, unlike Windows 8.1. New machines will soon be shipping with Windows 8.1 pre-installed.
For those on XP and Vista, not only will you have to purchase the full version, but you won’t be able to keep your old files and applications as an upgrade won’t work, you will need to do a fresh OS install. As for those on Windows 7, you will be able to retain your files but you will have to reinstall all your applications afterwards, including Microsoft Office.
If you buy a device later running the standard version of Windows 8.1, you will be able to upgrade to the Pro version for $99.99 and Windows Media Center for $9.99.
Windows 8.1 will be available for purchase exactly a month from now on October 18, 2013.