Windows 8.1 is expected to be released on October 17, and Microsoft has already started ramping up the hype train for its upcoming release. Those who already own Windows 8 will automatically be able to upgrade their machines when Microsoft flips the switch on October 17, although if you plan on making the jump from Windows 7, the company has opened up pre-orders for Windows 8.1.
Windows 7 users will need to pay $120 in order to purchase either a Windows 8.1 upgrade DVD or digital download, although those who own a computer that runs either Windows XP or Windows Vista are advised against updating their machines to Windows 8.1. On the other hand, Microsoft says those customers can buy Windows 8 to upgrade their computers, and download the Windows 8.1 free upgrade on October 17. We’re not sure why the latter process is being considered a better option for users, but who are we to question Microsoft’s madness?
Microsoft will also be selling a standalone version of Windows 8.1 Pro for $199, which would be an ideal solution for those who are building their own computers to use as it won’t require any upgrades in order for Windows 8.1 to be installed on your machine. If you’re building a new computer, you have a little over two weeks to get everything ready for when Windows 8.1 is released on October 17. That is, if you decide that’s the operating system you want installed.