Pricing and Packaging for Windows 8.1

Pricing and Packaging for Windows 8.1

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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 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).

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  • schade
    0 Posts

    Sounds good, almost like common sense! ;-)

  • You guys are doing great job.visit us:

  • Werner
    0 Posts

    What is the actual download size of win 8.1 when upgrading via windows store

  • Werner
    0 Posts

    Despite all the reviews- I surely appreciate and enjoy win8. Therefore, I cannot wait for 8.1 to arrive. My question is this "What is the actual size (in MB or Gig`s) when upgrading through Windows Store?". That will basically determine how long I will wait for my internet to download the update as my internet service provider restricts my access to 3gig monthly and thereafter implement a "fair use policy" which result in a very slow bandwidth.

  • Some sites are offering final version of windows 8.1 U.K dvd iso

    tell me about this

  • 0sn
    0 Posts

    Wow both Windows 8.1 Enterprise/Pro (x64) are absolutely fantastic! Keep up this excellent work you do!


    Please do allow your European customers to place pre-orders just like the States does & also in their desired localized languages too as most of us do speek say Norsk, Portugues & Svenska, which is more than just English US et cetera!

  • And how much do students worldwide have to pay for this?

  • im working on a program in C# that changes the look and feel of windows so it would be cool to add in compatibilty for the new feature.

    this is really cool i cant wait until the 18th

  • Another quick question, I am running Windows 8 Pro, when and if I decide to upgrade, following the information from my previous question, will the copy that I receive be the pro version as well? I just put 16GB of RAM into my computer so that is a necessity!!!

  • I had Windows 8.1 preview, and also got a virus on my system and had to do a complete reinstall of Windows 8. Not cool Microsoft! I am wondering, for those of us that choose to upgrade through the store, will there be an .iso image for us to burn to disk along with our product key in case something like happens. It has happened before and I need to know so I don't make the mistake of it happening again. Microsoft, this is all the information that I need before downloading Windows 8.1.

  • The famous hacker WZor, the citizen of the former Soviet Union migrated to Germany, also known as the king of Microsoft's software piracy and the person who stealed almost all current major Microsoft products (over 500GB) right after the RTM sign off and before they appears on MSDN for subscribers, has opened his Blog in the LiveJournal and published magnet links to download all versions of Windows (including Windows RT, Windows Core versions and Server 2012R2).

    How customers can be sure that Microsoft can secure their private information if Microsoft even can't secure own major products from stealing from own protected servers based on own products ?

    Why Microsoft does not fight against piracy ?

    When the WZor, who stealed Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8/Windows 8.1 from Microsoft would be arrested ?

    What the next, WZor would open his Blog right here and makes his own MSDN on magnet links ?

    What WZor is also stealed from the Microsoft - may be information about Microsoft user accounts, phone and credit card numbers, social security numbers, corporate MAK and KMS keys or another privacy information ?

    Does security holes and backdoors used by WZor to get control over Microsoft's Servers and steal software are closed in the ALL current Microsoft's products ?

  • I coughed up the 199.99 price each for 2 Windows 8 Pro Upgrade from Windows 7 Ultimate just 3 months ago, and did not go for the windows 8.1 preview, so I think those of us who didn't should get the first crack at 8.1 full.  Notice going from Ultimate to something less was not my first choice.  Especially since I was told I'd only have to pay $40.00 for each copy I purchased.  SO are you going to "bait and switch" me again?

  • jaykay
    0 Posts

    Hope it helps rank my website

  • Upgrades Windows desktop only through volume licensing.

    Thank you

  • What about DSP version, will still exist & price ?

  • Will we be able to upgrade for Windows Vista Ultimate SP2?

  • lalitha
    0 Posts

    I am always confused about this volume licensing

  • This has always been an expectation from regular users of windows that microsoft should provide them some discount on an upgrade. and yeah without being certified partner.

  • ellaCS
    0 Posts

    The actual version of Windows 8 is only an upgrade:

    * we have the possibility to create an iso file using the upgrade assistant

    * if we are trying to install it on a PC without an OS using this file at the end of the installation, when activating we are receiving the message that this PK is for an upgrade only

    * when the Windows 8.1 will be released, we will get this version for free as an upgrade

    * which will be than the installation process for the customers who already purchased Windows 8?

    * will the PK be used as a full version (Windows 8)?

    * will it be necessary to install the previous version (Windows 7, Vista or XP), after to upgrade to Windows 8 or 8 Pro and finally upgrade to Windows 8.1?

  • dhairya
    0 Posts

    Content Was awsome and so helpfull.... thanks alot

  • zast
    0 Posts

    We 'll keep all data and programs with the upgrade from 8 to Windows 8.1  ? Thks

  • Tomtag
    0 Posts

    Thanks Brandon.  In response to your thoughtful response about the free upgrade of 8.1 from the Windows Store, I do have my CD-Key for Windows 8 so that's not a problem.  What I am concerned about is that when the Windows Store made the 8.1 Preview available, it directly from the store installed the preview version without supplying a copy of the upgrade in a format that would allow for possible future re-installation.  My computer crashed due to a virus a few weeks ago, and the only way I could restore it was to do a new install from my original Windows 8 DVD.  So I am back to Windows 8 because the Windows store never supplied an ISO file or similar for later installation.  That is what I am hoping they do with the new full retail version upgrade.  That's my question!

  • Can Windows 8.1 Single Language Upgrade to Windows 8.1 Final ?

  • I am currently running 8.1 evaluation, which quite honestly I mistakenly thought was something like a service pack. It has given me problems but I have solved them.  Now I read that I will lose 8.1 at some point and if I upgrade to 8.1 final I have to re install all my programs.  Some cannot be installed more than once so I will have to buy them again including a very expensive HD video editing suite.  Can this really be true?  Can't I just install 8.1 over my evaluation?

  • Mr. Tomtag, sorry if I'm misunderstanding  your problem, but if you already have Win8, then you should have a CD-Key of your Win8. Since upgrading to Win8.1 from Win8 is free, there won't be a new Key required, I think. Of course, no any trouble around license. If you have lost your Key, well, that is the problem, not Win8.1.

    The one who's worrying about re-installing is not only you. I hope there will be some way to upgrade to Win8.1, skipping the time of downloading.

  • Tomtag
    0 Posts

    AT the risk of overplaying my point, I hope that the Windows Store upgrade to 8.1 allows us to download the full file to keep for obvious archival needs before any installation can begin (as noted above) and that this upgrade (as opposed to the Windows Store preview upgrade) does not just automatically start the upgrading process on its own leaving us with no backup for future re-install capabilities and no re-install key!  I think this is critically important!

  • Tomtag
    0 Posts

    I hope that the Windows Store free upgrade will include an ISO file (or similar) and a CD-KEY of some sort in the event that in the future if my new Windows 8.1 system may crash it may need to be reinstalled from an install file or actual DVD and I'm assuming it will probably need a CD-KEY or similar to do such a re-install.  Does anyone yet know the answer to this critical question?

  • thinking of getting 8.1 do yourself a favor and go back to 7 or go to apple. 8.1 is worse not better. downloaded 8.1 beta. mouse was always in the wrong spot to change any settings. and still no off button on start button. they made it worse not better. stay away from 8.1

  • sreesiv
    0 Posts

    Super news and I am Super excited !!! :-)

  • Cedric
    1 Posts

    Testing the RTM I hesitate between the congratulory mode and the shouting mode.

    + There are many imrpovement. The music app, for example, is finally useable and frankly it is abolutely gorgeous.

    + The possibility to have Modern apps on many screens is great

    - The start screen is a bing letdown and I hope that this is due to bugs that will be fixed before the launch.

    - In Windows 8 my right screen (the bigger one) is configured as the main screen - because many apps don't remember where they are used and always launch in main screen. So the first thing I did in the morning is show the start screen then use Windows+Page Down to move it to left screen. Then the start screen would be on the left screen all day, as wanted and the main screen used for main apps (e.g. Outlook 2013 & co)

    - Now Windows + Page Up and Windows + Page Down do not work anymore

    - Now the start screen keep changing screen. I haven't found a way to keep it on the left monitor. I can't emphasize enough how this is unnerving and productivity-destroying.

    - Internet explorer. The odd treatment for Internet Explorer make me want to vomit. Apparently one is to either use the Modern one or the Desktop one but not both. I happen to like to work with both simultaneously and this is a scenario that Microsoft made astoundingly awkward in 8.1 whereas it worked really well in Windows 8.

    -> If Modern IE is the default there is a tile for it on the start screen. It is then impossible to add a tile for the desktop IE on the start screen (it was possible on Windows 8)

    -> It is impossible to search for iexplorer.exe. The search will give results on the web but won't give any result in C\Program Files (Windows 8 did find it). This is absolutely an astounding censorship.

    -> Creating a desktop shortcut to iexplorer.exe then trying pin it on start screen won't work

    -> Copying iexplore.exe & giving another name won't work.

    In short why did Microsoft invest so much time and effort making life miserable for the users that like to work with both explorers?

  • Well, then I'll stay with Win 7. Thanks.

  • Jotinha
    0 Posts

    I have a Windows 8 Pro licensing and the Windows 8.1 Pro Preview installed on my desktop. I will need download the new pack from Microsoft or itself will upgrade ?

  • - we are not announcing a new promotional price. Only the pricing as mentioned in the above blog post. Thank you for your comment!

  • - I am sorry you are having issues with Windows 8. You should visit our Microsoft Community forums and post about your problems there as folks there can assist you in trying to solve your problems: For Windows 8.1, there will not be a specific link for you - you will get the update through the Windows Store on your device.

  • Will you repeat the the 40 USD promo price for a limited time? You should, becuase many people will find this upgrade price way too much... 40 USD may be fair for an OS upgrade.

  • vieya
    44 Posts

    I'm hoping for more updates. This version does fix some issues but there seems to be a lot of issues still unfixed.

  • HI, I have been having many problems with my windows 8, where would I be able to update at please. On this site? Do I need to call in for a link? Thanks ~MsInterpreted

  • - Yup!

  • - you can use your local account on Windows 8 to update to Windows 8.1 from the Windows Store. You do not need a connected Microsoft account.

  • Will there be System Builder Licences?

    @ EdmasterOG Will be no Problem...

  • TechHog
    0 Posts

    What about student pricing? Do we get the full version now too?

  • Ramin
    0 Posts

    what's Difference between version?

    in 8.1 store is lock for Iran?

  • spino
    0 Posts

    Hi! Just a question... i'm from italy.

    I own Windows 8 pro + Windows media center... when 8.1 will be on store, will i 'll be upgraded on the same version?

  • I am Having Preview Of 8.1 in my laptop

    how to change it in Full version Of window 8.1 ,,

    please tell me,, how to download window 8.1

    As i am getting so much of Problem preview !

  • abm
    268 Posts

    Please ask SkyDrive team to add IE11 RTM to their safe list. Microsoft is getting bad press for this: "SkyDrive Does Not Support IE11, Microsoft Says Firefox, Chrome Are Better Choices"

  • Help here!! I upgraded to windows 8 last year at launch for $40 (promo copy)

    Would i get windows 8.1 for free too?

  • av8rboi
    0 Posts

    Will customers running windows 8 be provided with windows 8.1 ISO?

    because, in case PC crashed we would have to install windows 8 first and then windows 8.1 via store. That would be time consuming as well as cumbersome. I hope there will be other options available and not just the update via windows store.

  • Hi Brandon,

    Nice to hear about 8.1!

    I have two questions.

    What about DSP version, will it still exist?

    And, do you have the price now?

    Will there be a way to upgrade from 8 to 8.1, not using Windows Store?

    I mean I want to download and store the upgrade file like previous service pack,

    since I have much chance to re-install my windows.

    Thank you.

  • - Because Windows  8.1 is not designed for installation on devices running Windows XP or Windows Vista, I do not believe a standalone "upgrade assistant" is being planned.

    When you move from the Windows 8.1 Preview to the final release of Windows 8.1 - you'll be able to keep your personal files, but you'll need to reinstall your apps.

  • Can somebody from Microsoft explain how are people with local accounts supposed to get this update ? The 8.1 update is a system-wide OS update, not a modern app, so why isn't it available through Windows Update ?

    I hope you really understand that one of the reasons why many people dislike Windows 8 is the fact that the message it sends across by not being able to boot directly to the desktop is that you are more interested in shoving the store into people's faces no matter the device they are using, than any real concern for desktop users' UI.

    You made partial amends to fix the situation with Windows 8.1 (insufficient in my opinion, as the taskbar disappears when you switch to the modern interface meaning there is still a divide and a very real lack of coherency and thus desktop multi tasking workflow is disrupted by having to shift back and forth and not being able to immediately switch between running applications or just visually check if they or any OS function (a file copy operation, for example) needs your attention) but seemingly found a new way to shove the store into people's faces by requiring them to create an on-line account in order to get into the store in order to get the Windows 8.1 update.

  • Hi Brandon,

    With Windows 8, people can currently they can use the Upgrade Assistant to check out whether their PC is likely to run Windows 8.

    For folks who have Vista and XP, who are recommended to go out and buy a DVD, it would be really useful to know if there's a compatibility showstopper on the PC before they go out and buy a DVD.  

    This would be especially useful as these are the computers whose hardware is likely to be older and more likely to have problems..

    Will there be a Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant for people to use before they buy?

    Also, is there anything more you can tell us on how the upgrade from 8.1 Preview to the real 8.1 will work?


  • bogdan
    1 Posts

    I can't find a single desirable feature in Win 8[.1]. It's your interest to push me towards your app store and I won't be paying you 200$ for that. My Win 7 is supported until 2020+. Later.

  • Hi rangelo10, I don't have anything new to share about Windows Media Center today.

  • If anyone from MSFT can respond to the questions below on Windows Media Center it would be really helpful.

    Is there any plans to update WMC since you are charging for it shouldn't the folks who paid for it be entitled to get some kind of upgrades?  

    Is WMC end of life as a product?  Brandon please help/answer as WMC is running entire home for Video music and pictures.

  • - yes will be able to purchase Windows 8.1 through Volume Licensing and the blog post I provided a link to in a prior comment above discusses when you will be able to do that.

  • yuhong
    5 Posts

    I am talking about purchasing Windows 8.1 via *volume licensing*.

  • - I'm sorry, I'm unsure what you mean by "Windows desktop upgrades". As mentioned in the above blog post - retail product for Windows 8.1 are now "full versions" of the product unlike with Windows 8 where it was "upgrade versions". But you can still use the Windows 8.1 retail product to upgrade a device.

  • yuhong
    5 Posts

    I am talking about the policy that only Windows desktop upgrades are sold via Volume Licensing.

  • - see this blog post we also published today regarding Volume License customers:

  • yuhong
    5 Posts

    So what about volume licensing? Is the policy still the same?