Get out your wallet -- Microsoft unveils Windows 8.1 pricing

Windows 8.1 has been chewed on around the internet for sometime now, with a Preview release, TechNet and MSDN launch, and...well, shall we say other locations it can be found? From the start (I swear I intended no pun), we have known that the upgrade will be a free one -- Microsoft is treating this as a service pack, though it's just a bit more than that.

Now we have details on what those non-Windows 8 customers will be ponying up to make the move to this new Start button enabled interface.

"We are excited to be delivering such an important update to customers in just one month and nearly a year after launching Windows 8. However we also recognize there will be some folks who may want to upgrade devices running older versions of Windows to Windows 8.1", says Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc.

That last part is the key for those of you who need to purchase this next generation operating system. This is where the pricing kicks in and, unsurprisingly, it isn't really any different than if you had grabbed a copy of Windows 8.

"Consumers who are not using a Windows 8 device will be able to buy Windows 8.1, either as a download from Windows.com or at your local store as a retail packaged DVD product. While pricing varies by market, in the U.S., Windows 8.1 will be available for $119.99 ERP (US) and Windows 8.1 Pro will be available for $199.99 ERP (US)" LeBlanc points out.

Customers can do an upgrade from Windows 7, but XP and Vista users will need the DVD and a clean install. Microsoft warns that "files, settings and programs will not transfer -- Consumers will need to back up their files and settings, perform clean installation, and then reinstall their files, settings and programs".

Is Windows 8.1 enough to sway the non-users out there? It certainly goes a long way to improving a controversial operating system, but does it go far enough?

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