a lot of us clearly still have ****ty internet connections
We want to dl an ISO once and then install it on all our pc's, and we are not all lucky enough to have a TechNet or MSDN subscription
Well MS has been pretty clear on this.
If you have a standard PC without VL/SA editions of Windows 8.0, you are supposed to get it from the Windows Store. If you have VL/SA editions, you can use the Enterprise/VL editions and preform an in-place upgrade as the setup is enabled to do so
Further complicating matters, however, if you have multiple devices to upgrade, you won't be able to download the update just once and apply it to all of your machines.El Reg asked Microsoft for clarification on this point and this is what we were told:
The Windows Store is the only way for consumers (non-enterprise, non-IT Pro) to download and install Windows 8.1. No ISOs will be made available, so each device needs to be updated individually via the Windows Store.
It actually goes further than that, though. "Consumers" here really means any copies of Windows 8 that weren't purchased through Microsoft's Volume Licensing programs. So a small business with 20 PCs to upgrade, for example, will have to do them one at a time via the Windows Store – so that's 20 separate 3.5GB downloads.
Enterprise customers have it a little easier. The installation media for Volume Licensing (VL) versions of Windows 8.1 can do in-place updates over existing Windows 8 installs, so admins won't need to download the update again for every PC that needs to be upgraded.
Enterprise sysadmins can also choose to perform what Microsoft calls a "refresh" deployment, where "data and settings are captured, the current OS is removed, Windows 8.1 is installed on a clean drive, apps are reinstalled, and then the user data is restored."