Incredibly, Microsoft on their site and in the Microsoft store, is ENCOURAGING users who are running Windows 7 to choose Windows 8.1 when upgrading. What they don't tell you is that only Windows 8 will allow you to keep your currently installed applications. If you go straight to 8.1 you will lose any installed programs and have to reinstall them. This is not an issue if you buy Windows 8 and upgrade to 8.1 later.
To make matters worse, most retail stores are no longer selling 8.0 at all.
If you want to keep your programs, make sure to buy 8.0 if at all possible. If you want 8.0 Pro you'll probably need to go to Amazon.
I just can't understand why they do stuff like this!