Last night on the Windows Blog Microsoft announced the pricing of the packaged versions of Windows 8.1. We already know that Windows 8.1 will be a free upgrade for Windows 8 users via the Windows Store and Microsoft have detailed what is available for users not running Windows 8.

There is going to be a full retail version of Windows 8.1 available either as a download from or on a full DVD package from stores. This is a change from Windows 8 were at retail there was only an upgrade pack and you needed an OEM edition if you didn’t have a previous version of Windows. With the Windows 8.1 retail pack you don’t need a previous version of Windows but there is no upgrade price.

The full version of Windows 8.1 will be $119.99 (no UK prices yet), Windows 8.1 will be $199.99. If you have Windows 8.1 and you want to upgrade to the Pro version Microsoft will charge $99.99 which includes Windows Media Center. If your machine ships with Windows 8.1 Pro you can get the Media Center pack for $9.99.

If you have Windows 7 when you upgrade to Windows 8.1 it will only keep your files and you will have to re-install desktop app which is a surprise, you can upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 without any issues so if you really do want to keep your OS intact you will have to get a Windows 8 upgrade and then go to Windows 8.1 which would actually work out cheaper but I am surprised Microsoft decided to make that decision. We debated on the podcast recording last night (TDL Show 417 available Thursday), I don’t see many Windows 7 users bothering to upgrade as they would be running 8 if by now if they really wanted the updated app however the other point of view is that it’s cutting of Windows 7 users holding out for the improved OS.

For Windows XP and Vista there is no upgrade path which is no surprise and I can’t imagine that many people would be wanting to upgrade their 2002 style PCs to the latest version of the OS.

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