Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Pricing and Packaging for Windows 8.1

  1. #1

    Pricing and Packaging for Windows 8.1


    For consumers with Windows 8 devices today, Windows 8.1 will be a free update via an easy download from the Windows Store* starting on October 18th**. Windows 8.1 will be a must-have update for those devices - bringing new features and improvements such as greater personalization, Bing Smart Search, and more than 20 new and improved Microsoft apps and services. We are excited to be delivering such an important update to customers in just one month and nearly a year after launching Windows 8. However we also recognize there will be some folks who may want to upgrade devices running older versions of Windows to Windows 8.1. The information in this blog post is meant for those people.

    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.


    One shift to note in Windows 8.1 is that we will be offering “full version software” at retail and online for download that does not require a previous version of Windows in order to be installed. The copy of Windows 8 that is currently available for sale at retail and online is an “upgrade version.” This shift allows more flexibility for customers in specific technical scenarios and is in response to feedback we’ve received. It will be easier for those consumers who want to build PCs from scratch, run Windows 8.1 in Virtual Machine (VM) environments, or run Windows 8.1 on a second hard drive partition.

    For non-Windows 8 devices, here is how upgrading to Windows 8.1 using the retail DVD and download software will work:

    • 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.

    If you buy a device later this year that comes with the Windows 8.1 edition, you will be able to purchase the Windows 8.1 Pro Pack for $99.99 ERP (U.S.), which unlocks all of the great features unique to Pro, as well as Windows Media Center. If you are on Windows 8.1 Pro, you can buy Windows Media Center for $9.99 (U.S.).

    If you are on the market for a new device today, I suggest taking advantage of our PC Selectorto find the right Windows 8 device that is perfect for you. And remember, you will be able to update your device to Windows 8.1 for free through the Windows Store.
    Windows 8.1 evolves Windows 8, bringing the latest advancements in hardware, apps and services and the OS to enable a unique experience in everything you do.

    More to come on Windows 8.1 including new devices and retail offers as we near October 18th!
    * Internet access required; fees may apply.
    ** Starting at 12:00am on October 18th in New Zealand (that’s 4:00am October 17th in Redmond).


    More...

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  2. #2


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    I'm surprised there's no discount offer this time.

    This bit puzzles me slightly:
    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.
    Because when Windows 8 came out, there was nothing suggesting that Vista and XP folks shouldn't upgrade to 8, and of course those very same PCs, now they've got Windows 8 running will have to move to 8.1 in 2 years or they will be left unsupported.

    Also, what about all those folks with old PCs running XP that will go out of support in April 2014? Are they just expected to trash their hardware?

    Also, as the ZDNet article points out:
    Microsoft prices Windows 8.1 starting at $119.99 | ZDNet
    A couple of readers have noted that XP, Vista and Windows 7 users who want Windows 8.1 would save about $30 to $40 by buying a copy of Windows 8 now at retail and then moving to Windows 8.1 for free. There's nothing illegal about that. Might be a plan for some....
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 1,925
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by DavidY View Post
    Because when Windows 8 came out, there was nothing suggesting that Vista and XP folks shouldn't upgrade to 8, and of course those very same PCs, now they've got Windows 8 running will have to move to 8.1 in 2 years or they will be left unsupported.

    Also, what about all those folks with old PCs running XP that will go out of support in April 2014? Are they just expected to trash their hardware?
    It doesn't say that people running XP shouldn't upgrade. It says that 8.1 was not designed to support upgrading from these systems. It's basically saying that it will not do an upgrade install, not that Windows 8.1 won't work on XP or Vista hardware. Whether or not it will work depends on the hardware though, as 8.1 does require specific hardware features that older XP hardware may not have (you need a processor that has PAE, NX, and SSE2, for instance). Not all XP hardware can run 8.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Quote Originally Posted by Mystere View Post
    It doesn't say that people running XP shouldn't upgrade. It says that 8.1 was not designed to support upgrading from these systems. It's basically saying that it will not do an upgrade install, not that Windows 8.1 won't work on XP or Vista hardware. Whether or not it will work depends on the hardware though, as 8.1 does require specific hardware features that older XP hardware may not have (you need a processor that has PAE, NX, and SSE2, for instance). Not all XP hardware can run 8.
    I think I see what you're getting at - it's about the capabilities and design of the installer and install process rather than the OS?

    In Windows 8 there was the Upgrade Assistant which would check out the processor features you mention - I wonder if they'll make something similar available for 8.1? Especially if the recommended route to 8.1 is to buy a boxed DVD; you'd really want a method to check that it's got some chance of working, before you buy it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 120
    Windows 8.1 + StartIsBack + AeroGlass


    $119.99 ERP

    Hahaha. For all their claims of being looking into the future with Windows 8, their thinking is still so tied to the past.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    I missed this the first time:
    More to come on Windows 8.1 including new devices and retail offers as we near October 18th!
    So maybe there will be a discounted price for a period after all?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    USA, Idaho
    Posts : 1,062
    Win 8, (VM win7, XP, Vista)


    Quote Originally Posted by DavidY View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mystere View Post
    It doesn't say that people running XP shouldn't upgrade. It says that 8.1 was not designed to support upgrading from these systems. It's basically saying that it will not do an upgrade install, not that Windows 8.1 won't work on XP or Vista hardware. Whether or not it will work depends on the hardware though, as 8.1 does require specific hardware features that older XP hardware may not have (you need a processor that has PAE, NX, and SSE2, for instance). Not all XP hardware can run 8.
    I think I see what you're getting at - it's about the capabilities and design of the installer and install process rather than the OS?

    In Windows 8 there was the Upgrade Assistant which would check out the processor features you mention - I wonder if they'll make something similar available for 8.1? Especially if the recommended route to 8.1 is to buy a boxed DVD; you'd really want a method to check that it's got some chance of working, before you buy it.
    Will you could go out and buy Mac OS X. . .oh wait you also have to buy the hardware. . .
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 87
    Windows 7 Pro 64


    Since for home netweork you need the Pro version, you look at $199 for the OS, while even good hardware (inc. SSD) won't cost you more than $400. I realize the OS runs everything, but half the cost of good hardware?

    I'm curious to hear if anyone knows how much Dell et al pay. I'm sure they only pay $30 and can pocket the difference. If MS would sell OS to everyone at the same price as the large retailers, more people woudl buy it.

    Maybe I should have bought one of the early $40 copies. but i just keep W7 untill W9 comes out or even longer.

    No wonder surface et al don't sell well. For $199 I get almost the entire Android pad inc OS.

    Even if W8 would function well (i.e. work like W7), why would anyone pay $199 to upgrade from W7 to W8? Especially since one year of service life (of the 10 years support) is already gone at this point.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Australia
    Posts : 716
    Windows 7 Ult Reatil & Win 8 Pro OEM


    Does anyone know definitively if it will be possible to download the free upgrade from the store and burn it as n ISO disc from which to do a clean install ... using your existing product key from W8 of course.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Quote Originally Posted by Mustang View Post
    Does anyone know definitively if it will be possible to download the free upgrade from the store and burn it as n ISO disc from which to do a clean install ... using your existing product key from W8 of course.
    The best answer I've seen is that there won't be an ISO if you want the free upgrade from 8.

    From the MS answer to one of the comments here:
    Mark your calendars for Windows 8.1!
    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Leblanc
    Consumers will only be able to get Windows 8.1 for free through the Windows Store. ISO images won’t be made available broadly for consumers.
    I assume MSDN/Technet folks are not "consumers" for this purpose, but for everyone else, unless there's a change, it looks like there will be no ISO, unless you want to go out and buy the retail version.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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