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Windows 8.1 Available for Pre-order Now

By - Source: Microsoft | B 23 comments

Let the countdown begin!

Microsoft on Wednesday announced that is now accepting pre-orders for Windows 8.1. The catch is that you'll have to be in the United States to secure yourself a pre-order, because Redmond doesn't seem to have opened pre-orders elsewhere just yet.

 

As discussed previously, Windows 8.1 will be officially released on October 18, 2013 (that's actually 12:00am on October 18th in New Zealand, so 4:00 a.m. PT 7:00 a.m. ET on October 17). Those who are already running Windows 8 will receive the upgrade to 8.1 for free, but those will on Windows 7 and below will need to pay for the pleasure to use the new Start Screen.

Pricing for Windows 8.1 will be the exact same as for the version before it: $119.99 and Windows 8.1 Pro will be available for $199.99. What's different from Windows 8, however, is that upgrade versions will be full version software. New PC owners with Windows 8.1 can upgrade to the Pro version for $99.

Hit up Microsoft's website to pre-order. We'll keep you posted on the pre-order status for other regions.

Follow Jane McEntegart @JaneMcEntegart. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

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  • -1 Hide
    deadmeow , October 3, 2013 7:08 AM
    I would rather use Windows 2000 than windows 8. I will stick to win xp, win 7 and Linux Mint 12.
  • 3 Hide
    Quarkzquarkz , October 3, 2013 7:35 AM
    The real question is, when can we do the free upgrade from Windows 8 to windows 8.1? I need to know Thx in advance!!
  • -4 Hide
    Bloob , October 3, 2013 7:40 AM
    *sigh* another win 8 post. I'll just call for the whambulance right away.
  • 3 Hide
    stevejnb , October 3, 2013 7:41 AM
    Quote:
    The real question is, when can we do the free upgrade from Windows 8 to windows 8.1? I need to know Thx in advance!!


    October 17.
  • 1 Hide
    Fredrik Aldhagen , October 3, 2013 7:52 AM
    It is great of Microsoft to provide the opportunity for people without internet access to acquire Windows 8.1 ...by ordering it on their website
  • 2 Hide
    stevejnb , October 3, 2013 7:57 AM
    Quote:
    It is great of Microsoft to provide the opportunity for people without internet access to acquire Windows 8.1 ...by ordering it on their website


    ... is this not going to be available in store? I've seen multiple articles talking about retail packaging and DVDs. Why wouldn't someone without internet just be able to go and pick one of those up? Though, I will admit, if you *really* have no net access, an older version of Windows is far less necessary from a security standpoint.
  • 2 Hide
    jimmysmitty , October 3, 2013 8:37 AM
    Quote:
    windows 7 sp 3 with broken GUI ? no thanks


    For it to be WIndows 7 it would have to have the exact same kernel, which it does not. The 8 kernel is much more optimized and as well a lot of back end parts of the OS run better than 7 does.

    I had the preview and like 8.1 more than 8. Thanks to my job we have TechNet and I was able to get a full copy before the launch.

    Running it right now and it feels better than even the preview did.
  • 1 Hide
    xiinc37 , October 3, 2013 8:37 AM
    If you don't have internet access, you probably don't need the latest version of windows anyways.
  • 1 Hide
    BigMack70 , October 3, 2013 8:39 AM
    I don't understand where the Windows 8 fans are hiding in the woodwork. I used it for a while, and it's awful for anything without a horizontal touch screen (i.e. anything not a tablet). Everyone I know who has used Windows 8 thinks it's terrible. The sales figures indicate that the majority of people think it's terrible.

    And yet, the prevailing trend in most comments sections is that the people pointing this out are labeled as either just complaining or as just refusing to try something new.

    I don't get it. Windows 8 is not a good OS, and 8.1 doesn't fix the things that, from a design perspective, are fundamentally flawed with Windows 8.
  • -1 Hide
    soldier44 , October 3, 2013 9:13 AM
    No thanks.
  • 3 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 3, 2013 10:08 AM
    BigMack70, you say it's not a good OS, well I say it's not a bad OS. I use it on a non-touch screen monitor desktop PC. Memory management is better, more compatibility with some programs (notably older DOS games that failed DOSbox), more secure, faster. I'm sure when old command-line warriors were given a GUI in the early 90's they hated the change but they were still able to use it with little disruption but had all the extra facilities the new GUI offered too. Scroll forward 20 years and Windows 8 has Metro, classic desktop AND command line. If you don't like Metro that's your opinion, but don't write off all the improvements because you are too lazy to install ClassicShell and would rather waste twice as much time complaining about something that is a non-issue.
  • 7 Hide
    Innocent_Bystander , October 3, 2013 10:23 AM
    "I don't get it. Windows 8 is not a good OS, and 8.1 doesn't fix the things that, from a design perspective, are fundamentally flawed with Windows 8. "

    You don't like it so it's not a good OS... ok gotcha. I'll keep that in mind.
    BTW, I run Windows 8 on my main desktop and I wouldn't go back to 7. Now you've come across someone who likes it.

    Having said that, I still use it in desktop mode and I use the start screen as a launcher for my desktop applications. But then again: I have the luxury of a 24" monitor, a keyboard and a mouse.

    I wouldn't want desktop mode for my Lumia 920. Metro works there just fine.
  • -1 Hide
    BigMack70 , October 3, 2013 10:41 AM
    "You don't like it so it's not a good OS... ok gotcha. I'll keep that in mind.
    BTW, I run Windows 8 on my main desktop and I wouldn't go back to 7. Now you've come across someone who likes it."

    I was referring to people I actually know (I know about a dozen folks who have tried Windows 8, ranging from barely computer literate to fairly geeky, and none of them have anything positive to say about it for desktop or laptop use). Sales figures back me up - as a whole, people don't want Windows 8. And business won't touch it with a 10 foot pole. And remember I'm speaking generally about trends here - obviously there are some people who like it.

    The whole problem with Windows 8 is this: Yes, you can get it to work more or less like Windows 7 (which I did, btw, when I was using it)... BUT, why would you pay money for a new product when all you are going to do with it is install 3rd party workarounds to get it back to what you had before? Memory management is a non-issue for 99% of people running Windows 7, and the idea of Windows being secure is just kind of funny...

    There is nothing meaningfully new with Windows 8 that improves its usability or functionality on a desktop compared to Windows 7. And many of the new things Windows 8 brings are related to Metro... and are things you immediately want workarounds for if you are using a desktop.
  • 1 Hide
    MidnightDistort , October 3, 2013 10:48 AM
    Quote:
    I don't understand where the Windows 8 fans are hiding in the woodwork. I used it for a while, and it's awful for anything without a horizontal touch screen (i.e. anything not a tablet). Everyone I know who has used Windows 8 thinks it's terrible. The sales figures indicate that the majority of people think it's terrible.

    And yet, the prevailing trend in most comments sections is that the people pointing this out are labeled as either just complaining or as just refusing to try something new.

    I don't get it. Windows 8 is not a good OS, and 8.1 doesn't fix the things that, from a design perspective, are fundamentally flawed with Windows 8.


    Umm well this is an article for Windows 8 users, believe it or not the OS managed to have a following. I would have rather stayed with Windows 7 or move to Linux but Windows 8 is a product just like anything else so despite it's not a majorly popular OS like Windows 7 or XP is you still have to respect the fact that some users do like this.

    I will agree though that some W8 users are pushy when it comes to people who don't like Windows 8. Those people should be ignored anyway, i mean if they can't grasp the problems some users have with Windows 8 (one being Microsoft) then those who do not like the new UI will either be sticking with what they have or move to Linux. Yeah i agree that W8.1 doesn't fix most of the problems or that it continues to remove features that users like so one can only hope that MS will fix it with new Windows or users will stay with XP, Vista or 7.
  • 2 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , October 3, 2013 11:24 AM
    for the people that like windows 8 they will like windows 8.1 better for the people that don't like windows 8 then windows 8.1 doesn't matter. I like windows 8 on my tablet but not on my desktop. I find that windows 7 is more users friendly on my desktop then windows 8 is, but I find that windows 8 is more user friendly on my tablet then windows 7 is. Windows 7 isn't going away anytime soon it has 46% of the market and growing so Windows 7, because Windows 7 is the OS of choice amongst many pc users. So it's not going away anytime soon.
  • -4 Hide
    sagansrun , October 3, 2013 11:49 AM
    I love these moronic comments.

    "I will rather use windows 2000 blah, blah blahblah" Then in 2 months you see those same people talking up win8.1 as the best thing in years.
  • 2 Hide
    gnodeb , October 3, 2013 12:52 PM
    Quote:
    I don't understand where the Windows 8 fans are hiding in the woodwork. I used it for a while, and it's awful for anything without a horizontal touch screen (i.e. anything not a tablet). Everyone I know who has used Windows 8 thinks it's terrible. The sales figures indicate that the majority of people think it's terrible.

    And yet, the prevailing trend in most comments sections is that the people pointing this out are labeled as either just complaining or as just refusing to try something new.

    I don't get it. Windows 8 is not a good OS, and 8.1 doesn't fix the things that, from a design perspective, are fundamentally flawed with Windows 8.


    What can I say. I'm 40 years old and I've used every single windows version. I'm tired of people who make win7 to look like winXP or XP to look like win2k.

    We all know that 13'' laptops are outselling desktops and tablet form factor is going to outsell 13'' laptops. Win8 is the only OS who can run well on all these platforms and runs extremely well on small screens while my work flow on 24'' screen is not interrupted at all.

    I have no idea what people are complying about. I didn't use start button since Vista (just hit win taster and type what you want). I've installed win8 on 4 old computers (two desktops, laptop and HTPC) and had zero problem with it. All I see is a lot of small improvements.

    People are acting like Win8 breaks compatibility with earlier versions just because they retired something that should not be in use since vista... Wake up...
  • 2 Hide
    jardows , October 3, 2013 12:56 PM
    Looking forward to this coming out. I installed the Windows 8 Enterprise trial version on an old Core 2 Compaq laptop. To say that it is fast is an understatement. The laptop came with Vista and was dog slow, I installed Fedora, which worked well, except for a particular printer where there was no Linux drivers that worked. I installed Windows 8, and was blown away by how fast it booted. This computer loads to my application in a fraction of the time as my Sandy Bridge Pentium desktop with 8 gigs of RAM running Windows 7.

    I am not a fan of the start screen interface (which really seems to be the only complaint about windows 8), but I have setup my desktop to be much more efficient for me than the Windows 95 start menu ever was. Boot to desktop mode will save me a click, and have my computer ready to use even faster!
  • 0 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , October 3, 2013 3:54 PM
    Quote:
    I would rather use Windows 2000 than windows 8. I will stick to win xp, win 7 and Linux Mint 12.


    I have to agree with this. As fasr as useability for an advanced user, that wants to access control panel and administrator features easily, xp is the best of all the windows OS's, followed by win7. Windows 8 just makes everything more difficult, except for pure application launching.
  • 1 Hide
    midnightgun , October 3, 2013 9:58 PM
    Have win7 on my desktop and Win8 on a new laptop I bought. Can't wait for 8.1 for 3 simple reasons:

    1 - Boot to desktop (Metro, I don't care)
    2 - Search within control folders (I hate trying to find simple functions that are hidden)
    3 - Direct access to simple things via start menu

    As a side note I am hoping they turn off bugging about the "new apps" that are installed for things like opening files. I'm using the one I want, I don't care about your new apps thanks.
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