Windows 8 which is the latest operating system from Microsoft has been consistently losing popularity since the time it was launched. Hence, Microsoft has been working from quite some time to roll out an update to fix all the issues. Few months ago, Microsoft had announced that they will be releasing the update which was codenamed as Windows Blue in this year.
Windows 8.1 is the official name of the Windows Blue update. According to Microsoft, the update will be available completely free for users who already own Windows 8. For other users who use Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP, the price of the new update will be $120 for them. The Windows 8.1 Pro update is priced at $200 for Windows users who do not own Windows 8.
The Windows 8.1 prices that have been announced by Microsoft is for the download from Windows.com website or for original Windows 8.1 DVD that are sold at retail outlets. The charges of the new update are the same Microsoft had charged previously for Windows users to upgrade their system with Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro upgrades.
This time around, Microsoft is selling Windows 8.1 as a full version software that means it is not necessary to have a previous version of Windows present on your system. Previously, Microsoft had offered an upgrade version for people who already had a previous version of Windows on their system and for others, they offered the full version.
According to Microsoft, the new change that they have brought with regards to making full version of the software available for users is mainly based on the feedback that they have received from the customers. Microsoft claims that this will definitely help users who wish to build their PCs right from the scratch or for users who want to execute Windows 8.1 virtual-machine environment.
Users who are already using the consumer preview version of Windows 8.1 are required to reinstall all their apps when migrating to the retail version of Windows 8.1. However, if you did not install the consumer preview version on your Windows 8 PC, you can directly opt for the Windows 8.1 update without the need of reinstalling apps. Also, users who will be upgrading from an older version of Windows like Windows 7 are also required to reinstall their apps. All your files remain intact when switching from older versions of Windows to Windows 8.1 but you are required to install all the apps again.
Users who are using Windows XP and Windows Vista can also avail the Windows 8.1 upgrade. However, Microsoft is not advertising the upgrade for these users. This does not mean that users of older Windows versions [up to Windows X] will not be able to install the upgrade or Microsoft will not be offering support to them. Only thing is Microsoft is just not advertising about this fact mainly because older PCs will not be able to produce optimal Windows 8.1 experience.
Users who wish to switch to Windows 8.1 from Windows XP or Vista are advised not to download the upgrade but to get retail DVD and then perform a clean install of Windows 8.1. Microsoft announced that those buy new PCs with Windows 8.1 running on it, they will be able to avail the Windows 8.1 Pro Pack only for $100. As of now, Microsoft does not wish to offer any sort of limited discount for Windows 8.1 for users that using older version of Windows.