Microsoft has announced official pricing details for Windows 8.1 ahead of its release next month.
Current Windows 8 users will get Windows 8.1 as a free upgrade. For Windows 7 users or earlier that are looking to upgrade, Windows 8.1 will cost $120. Windows 8.1 Pro which will include additional features like Windows Media Center, BitLocker and Remote Desktop Connection will be priced at $200.
The Windows 8.1 Pro Pack on the other hand is meant to be an upgrade version for users that purchase Windows 8.1, but want to upgrade to the Pro version at a later time. The Windows 8.1 Pro Pack will be available for $99. Media Center can also be purchased separately for $10. If you currently have a Windows 8 device, you’ll receive the update for free.
A welcome change that Microsoft is going with this time around is that these versions of Windows are considered “full versions,” and not upgrade versions. The current Windows 8 on sale online and at retail is an upgrade version, which requires a previous version of Windows. Microsoft says the full versions should make it easier for people who are building a new PC, running Windows 8.1 in a Virtual Machine and for installing it on a different hard drive partition.
There is, however, some bad news for users that like to upgrade their OS and keep their files and settings intact rather than doing a clean install. Windows 8.1 will only feature full upgrades with everything intact from Windows 8. Windows 7 users will get to keep all their files, but have to reinstall desktop apps including Microsoft Office. Windows Vista and XP users are required to do a clean install.
Windows 8.1 will be released on October 18th.