Windows 8.1 retail pricing & packaging revealed, full versions return

By on September 18, 2013, 7:30 AM

Although Windows 8.1 will be available as a free upgrade to everyone running Windows 8, Microsoft will still be offering retail versions for those who have yet to upgrade. Today Microsoft unveiled the pricing and packaging for these versions in the United States, while also revealing the switch from an upgrade version to a full version SKU.

Just like with Windows 8, Windows 8.1 will be available in two retail SKUs: the standard edition, which will cost $119.99, and the Pro version, which will retail for $199.99. The Windows 8.1 Pro Pack, which converts the standard edition into the Pro version, will be available for $99.99, and the Media Center add-on will cost $9.99.

Unsurprisingly, these prices are identical to what Windows 8 currently retails for. However, Microsoft will be selling boxed copies of Windows 8.1 as full versions, rather than an upgrade version like Windows 8 was. This means those who purchase a retail SKU of Windows 8.1 won't need a previous version of Windows on their PCs to install, allowing more flexibility than what's currently on offer.

Interestingly, Windows 8.1 retail SKUs will not facilitate upgrades from Windows 7 or earlier. Users who are running Windows 7 will have their files transferred, but desktop applications will need reinstalling; users on older versions such as XP or Vista will have nothing transferred, with the installer essentially performing a clean install. In either case it might be advisable to buy a copy of Windows 8 rather than Windows 8.1, which would allow a proper upgrade to be performed, followed by the free update to Windows 8.1.

Windows 8.1 will launch on October 18th, bringing a range of new features and enhancements to the popular operating system. Anyone currently running Windows 8 will be able to upgrade for free through the Windows Store, while anyone else will be able to grab a retail SKU from their favorite retailer.




User Comments: 20

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Cycloid Torus Cycloid Torus said:

" In either case it might be advisable to buy a copy of Windows 8 rather than Windows 8.1, which would allow a proper upgrade to be performed, followed by the free update to Windows 8.1."

Unless you consider the inevitable morass of a needing a clean install when you replace (or just wish to reformat) your HD (or replace/upgrade CPU or motherboard). Last time it took me over 6 hours and 3 phone calls to get a working system. And, yes, I have all my licensed copies back to Win95.... I hate DRM.

TheBigFatClown said:

So I only have to pay $200.00 to Microsoft to download apps from their app store that cost even more money? Not bad at all. Not bad at all. Kind of reminds me of World of Warcraft days where people got the privilege of handing over $20.00 a month to Blizzard after paying them $60.00 for the privilege to do so.

Yes, I think will run right out and buy Windows 8. Besides, who could resist buying Windows 8.1 after they packaged it in those "bee-u-tee-ful" 8-bit color boxes?

p51d007 said:

I got 8 for that 14 dollar thingy last year. Still haven't used it, since 7 works perfect.

Maybe 8.1 with a free start replacement program would be better than just 8

Teko03 said:

@TheBigFatClown, I love that people (you in this case) like to pretend that all apps cost money, when in actuality the Windows Store is filled with free apps. Apps aren't any different than buying licensed x86 applications.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Is this not strange to anyone else?

Although Windows 8.1 will be available as a free upgrade to everyone running Windows 8, Microsoft will still be offering retail versions for those who have yet to upgrade"

It's just a god damn update! Why the need to re-release Windows 8?

But then I pause for a moment when trying to comprehend what in the world is happening...

If you think about all the Xbox1 revisions/changes, the Surface RT vs iPad spamming and now this, Microsoft is really getting nasty about selling thier products. Has the gorilla finally realized its name alone no longer automatically sell it's products like it used to? Are they just suddenly realizing its not 1999 anymore? No wonder why there is so much movement at the head of the company, and poor sales across the board, going on years now.

JC713 JC713 said:

8.1 doesnt sound as good as a whole number.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Windows 7 still works great for me. I just don't see any incentive to buy an entirely new OS.

pmcardle said:

Is this not strange to anyone else?

Although Windows 8.1 will be available as a free upgrade to everyone running Windows 8, Microsoft will still be offering retail versions for those who have yet to upgrade"

It's just a god damn update! Why the need to re-release Windows 8?

But then I pause for a moment when trying to comprehend what in the world is happening...

If you think about all the Xbox1 revisions/changes, the Surface RT vs iPad spamming and now this, Microsoft is really getting nasty about selling thier products. Has the gorilla finally realized its name alone no longer automatically sell it's products like it used to? Are they just suddenly realizing its not 1999 anymore? No wonder why there is so much movement at the head of the company, and poor sales across the board, going on years now.

Poor sales??? This just in:

REDMOND, Wash. ? July 18, 2013 ? Microsoft Corp. today announced quarterly revenue of $19.90 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2013. Operating income, net income, and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $6.07 billion, $4.97 billion, and $0.59 per share. These financial results include a $900 million charge, or a $0.07 per share impact, related to Surface RT inventory adjustments.

In addition, these financial results reflect the recognition of $782 million of previously deferred revenue related to the Office Upgrade Offer. All growth comparisons relate to the corresponding period in the last fiscal year.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Poor sales??r

I was mostly referring to Surface RT and Windows 8, not their enterprise & business model/product line/services/branches and related backbone/infrastructure sales.

Surface and W8 sales have been abysmal.

Railman said:

Is this not strange to anyone else?

Although Windows 8.1 will be available as a free upgrade to everyone running Windows 8, Microsoft will still be offering retail versions for those who have yet to upgrade"

It's just a god damn update! Why the need to re-release Windows 8?

But then I pause for a moment when trying to comprehend what in the world is happening...

If you think about all the Xbox1 revisions/changes, the Surface RT vs iPad spamming and now this, Microsoft is really getting nasty about selling thier products. Has the gorilla finally realized its name alone no longer automatically sell it's products like it used to? Are they just suddenly realizing its not 1999 anymore? No wonder why there is so much movement at the head of the company, and poor sales across the board, going on years now.

Poor sales??? This just in:

REDMOND, Wash. ? July 18, 2013 ? Microsoft Corp. today announced quarterly revenue of $19.90 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2013. Operating income, net income, and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $6.07 billion, $4.97 billion, and $0.59 per share. These financial results include a $900 million charge, or a $0.07 per share impact, related to Surface RT inventory adjustments.

In addition, these financial results reflect the recognition of $782 million of previously deferred revenue related to the Office Upgrade Offer. All growth comparisons relate to the corresponding period in the last fiscal year.

Sorry but the way you have presented these figures are meaningless. I don't need an ****** guide as I understand finance but I do need some kind of context.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

I have a 7 desktop and 8 laptop. Windows 8 feels like 7, its not a new operating system. Its 7 with extra touchscreen, metro apps and multi screen features, and is very stable. I don't use apps very often, they are there for added entertainment value, and the app store isnt that that great yet anyway (not enough free indie software or quality games-will possibly develop more when the new xbox starts to use the store). As for the 8 start screen, its fine, I like sweeping to the corner using my mouse just as much as using the old 7 start menu, but I use the desktop taskbar and general desktop to launch all of my programs in 7 and 8, so having a 'metro' start screen instead of a start menu makes no difference to me.

If you prefer an old school start menu, you can always install classic menu or start8 to windows 8.

Windows 8.1 doesnt sound like a massive update. Its start menu is supposedly only a shortcut to the tiled metro start screen, so if you want an old school menu, use the programs above (classic menu is free). With 8.1, it seems that Microsoft may attempt to give customers more frequent updates. I dont mind the tiles, but it would be great if they offered themes for them, as the current rainbow lego one might not be to everyones taste XD

pmcardle said:

"Sorry but the way you have presented these figures are meaningless. I don't need an *****s guide as I understand finance but I do need some kind of context."

Why, are you writing a book. If you want some context do your own homework and investigate it yourself. Otherwise, mind your own business... also, the figures were presented exactly how I copied them from my own search. See how easy it is... LMFAO

pmcardle said:

I would agree with that. I misinterpreted the "poor sales across the board" statement.

TheBigFatClown said:

@TheBigFatClown, I love that people (you in this case) like to pretend that all apps cost money, when in actuality the Windows Store is filled with free apps. Apps aren't any different than buying licensed x86 applications.

I was under the impression were they a lot more different than buying licensed x86 applications. The very first difference being that greedy Microsoft gets a cut of every application "sold" through the app store. How is that not different from traditional applications that are purchased online? Microsoft wants ME to pay them $200.00 so that I can generate a constant, streaming revenue directly to their bank accounts so that they can make even more money off of me.

Talk about greedy. Just think if Valve started charging people to download and install Steam. Can you imagine the anger that would instill across the entire population of gamers who use Steam?

But it's okay for Microsoft to sell the portal to the "apps" that we have to pay for again after having paid for the portal to the apps. Yeah, that's a real good deal for the consumer.

Thank God for Microsoft, the world is still full of plenty of pidgeons(and chimpanzees).

SEverard said:

It's a service pack essentially so the free update and the packaged new version is just the same as getting SP1 for Windows 7 for free but also being able to purchase Windows 7 bundled with SP1 (as in on the same disc).

Moderator note: It is not necessary to quote the entire thread. Fixed it for you.

spectrenad said:

@TheBigFatClown, I love that people (you in this case) like to pretend that all apps cost money, when in actuality the Windows Store is filled with free apps. Apps aren't any different than buying licensed x86 applications.

I was under the impression were they a lot more different than buying licensed x86 applications. The very first difference being that greedy Microsoft gets a cut of every application "sold" through the app store. How is that not different from traditional applications that are purchased online? Microsoft wants ME to pay them $200.00 so that I can generate a constant, streaming revenue directly to their bank accounts so that they can make even more money off of me.

Talk about greedy. Just think if Valve started charging people to download and install Steam. Can you imagine the anger that would instill across the entire population of gamers who use Steam?

But it's okay for Microsoft to sell the portal to the "apps" that we have to pay for again after having paid for the portal to the apps. Yeah, that's a real good deal for the consumer.

Thank God for Microsoft, the world is still full of plenty of pidgeons(and chimpanzees).

At $200.00, you are buying an OS, not an app store access. Get your shit together, please.

Railman said:

"Sorry but the way you have presented these figures are meaningless. I don't need an *****s guide as I understand finance but I do need some kind of context."

Why, are you writing a book. If you want some context do your own homework and investigate it yourself. Otherwise, mind your own business... also, the figures were presented exactly how I copied them from my own search. See how easy it is... LMFAO

I don't need to mind my business as you have posted to a public forum! So you are admitting to copying the figures. It is easy to copy data but your post does not prove any trends and there is insufficient information to make a proper analysis. Had you included data from the previous quarters for the last two years a trend could be arrived at.

Can you explain the figures?

TheBigFatClown said:

At $200.00, you are buying an OS, not an app store access. Get your **** together, please.

Oh, I didn't realize I was buying an operating system. I thought it was a streaming software portal for monkeys. Whew!! Thanks for letting me know though. Good thing I already got an operating system.

QuaZulu QuaZulu said:

Yeah Microsoft...still being hardheaded and doing absolutely nothing to entice or encourage those who are happy with what they've got to try their new idea. I got 3 Win 7 licenses for $120 total when Win 7 first came out.

Maybe this Win 8 will flop harder and Microsoft might try encouragement rather than a stick for Win 9. Until they learn, 7 works just fine.

TheBigFatClown said:

Yeah Microsoft...still being hardheaded and doing absolutely nothing to entice or encourage those who are happy with what they've got to try their new idea. I got 3 Win 7 licenses for $120 total when Win 7 first came out.

Maybe this Win 8 will flop harder and Microsoft might try encouragement rather than a stick for Win 9. Until they learn, 7 works just fine.

Maybe Microsoft will give the customer what the customer wants and not what Microsoft thinks the customer wants. I don't know how much ******* louder I can scream to make it clear that I "DO NOT" want whatever the hell Windows 8 is. If the customer is not buying what you are selling, you need to figure out why, and fix it. You keep offering the customer a fish sandwich when they are screaming for a double cheeseburger they're going to eventually kick you in the nuts and then just leave. Turn the ship around, get back on course, and get this Windows 8 trainwreck fixed.

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