While Windows 8.1 is set to be a free update for current Windows 8 users, Microsoft is offering a full version of Windows 8, complete with the Windows 8.1 update, for the same price as Windows 8. Now you can install Windows 8.1 directly from a DVD!
"Consumers who are not using a Windows 8 device will be able to buy Windows 8.1, either as a download from Windows.com or at your local store as a retail packaged DVD product. While pricing varies by market, in the U.S., Windows 8.1 will be available for $119.99 ERP (U.S.) and Windows 8.1 Pro will be available for $199.99 ERP (U.S.). The pricing and editions for Windows 8.1 are similar to what we have today for Windows 8," Microsoft stated in an official blog post.
While Windows 8.1 is an update to Windows 8, consumers want the flexibility to install Windows 8.1 directly onto new computers or upgrade an old installation of Windows with ease. This DVD of Windows 8.1 will allow consumers to simply insert the disk and install Windows 8.1! Microsoft is offering this alternative for consumers based on technical scenarios and in response to feedback.
Using the Windows 8.1 DVD, you can upgrade from Windows 7 and retain your personal files while having to reinstall all your software. Windows XP and Windows Vista are unable to upgrade to Windows 8.1 and Microsoft suggests booting from the Windows 8.1 DVD and doing a clean install.
You can also purchase Windows 8.1 Pro Pack for $99.99, which gives you Windows Media Center. If you are already on Windows 8.1 Pro, you can buy Windows Media Center for $9.99.
Windows 8.1 is set for release as an update to Windows 8 on October 17th at 4AM Pacific Time.