The pricing of Windows 8.1 will be roughly the same as the operating system it is upgrading although Microsoft's OEM partners should get decent discounts for buying licences in large volumes.
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The vendor revealed its pricing structure for 8.1, which launches on 18 October, with the basic version costing $120 and a Pro alternative $200 with existing Windows 8 users getting the upgrade for free.
Apart from addressing some user concerns about functionality the other main feature of the 8.1 launch is the decision by Microsoft to make it easier for users to move to the latest OS without having a previous version installed.
"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," the vendor stated in a blog post.
"It will be easier for those consumers who want to build PCs from scratch, run Windows 8.1 in virtual machine environments, or run Windows 8.1 on a second hard drive partition," it added.