The Windows 8.1 Pro upgrade need not cost $199; how about 79 bucks?

As reported earlier, Microsoft's online store started taking pre-orders for Windows 8.1 starting today, but now Richard Hay of the Windows Observer site has revealed a cheaper way to obtain the operating system.

Pricing for Windows 8.1 is $119.99 for the core version and $199.99 for the Pro version. However, Windows 8.1 is a free update for current Windows 8 users which will be provided via the Windows App store. Some resellers on Amazon have reduced the price of the Windows 8 Pro upgrade pack, this means  that consumers can buy it and get updated to 8.1 starting October 17th for free, saving close to $120. 

The steps as mentioned by Richard are:

  1. Purchase the Windows 8 Pro upgrade pack for Windows XP, Vista and 7 from Amazon.
  2. Upgrade to Windows 8.1 when it becomes generally available on October 17th on the Windows App store.

Since this is a discounted price listed by the seller, consumers should order Windows 8 upgrade packs while the offer lasts to avail of this reduced price.

Source: Windows Observer | Image via Microsoft

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Bought the upgrade edition of 8 Pro off of Ebay for $40 a month or two ago, and it was actually legit Not sure if there's still anyone selling them, tho

They consider 8.1 to be a new product and not a patch for 8.0? So they're going to support 8.0 separately? Wtf? I thought it was going to be like a service pack!

Kind of kicking myself for not taking advantage of the $40 (or w/e it was) upgrade off MS was pushing last year around this time. I was hoping for a similar promotion with the 8.1 release.

So if I get this upgrade to 8.0 from Amazon for $79 to upgrade from Windows 7, install it, then on the 17th upgrade to 8.1 what will I have to do if ever I want to reinstall the OS? Since 8.1 is not an upgrade will I be able to directly install 8.1 if I do a "clean install"? Or will I have to install Windows 7, install the Windows 8 upgrade, and download 8.1 again?

Thanks for the clarification.

Download the Windows 8.1 ISO from Technet, if you get it from elsewhere you can compare the SHA1 to ensure its legit and not tampered with.

Install 8.1 with the default key, then just activate using your Windows 8 key. Upgrade keys work fine for clean installs.

I recently did a clean install of 8.1 using my Windows 8 upgrade key.

InsaneNutter said,
Download the Windows 8.1 ISO from Technet, if you get it from elsewhere you can compare the SHA1 to ensure its legit and not tampered with.

Install 8.1 with the default key, then just activate using your Windows 8 key. Upgrade keys work fine for clean installs.

I recently did a clean install of 8.1 using my Windows 8 upgrade key.

Thank you for the info! I think thats all i need to know. Probably going to pounce on this now.

I bought 3 last year at $15. I agree it's overpriced. The most I'd pay is $80. Give me an option to totally hide Metro and I'd pay $85. Article is spot on.

The retail price for Windows is too expensive, period. When you have ta large family and use three or more machines in your household, paying $100 or more per machine to upgrade every few years is ridiculous. The Windows license is the single most expensive component of the computer (mind you, I build budget rigs). Not to mention that small and medium businesses are left out cold since they aren't eligible for volume licenses.
$49. for Pro.

Companies have to sell things for more than they cost. Software is priced based on the support cost numbers. That's why the OEM versions are cheaper because that pool can't use Microsoft support. The lifespan of the product is 10 years so there's no reason to upgrade every few.

Funny, people will often pay hundreds of dollars for games without thinking much about it and only play them for a short period of time. However, software that allows your computer to operate, that you use every single day and does so much, if costs anything like what it's worth, now that's an outrage!

I wasn't planning on using Windows 8, but at 80$ I'll get one copy. If anything, I can install it on my gaming PC I don't do any actuall office work on. I don't need a good user interface if I am just launching Steam in fullscreen mode. It will also give me some experience so I can work on friends Windows 8 computers better.

Just a reminder to everyone: You need Windows 7 for this upgrade to work.

Quick question for all you smart folks out there. I've been a TechNet subscriber for years, but that is now coming to an end. I currently have the Win8.1 Pro RTM bits on my test machine, but want to transition to the retail version of Win8.1 Pro. Not sure how I can do this "deal" without reverting back to Win8 Pro, which would likely require a full reinstall, then reinstalling all my apps.

Thoughts? And thanks...

MillionVoltss said,
Uk = £59.50 . Is it worth Upgrading from Windows 7 ?

I'm thinking the same thing, it's the cheapest i've seen it so i may take the plunge.

Does anyone know if it kills the Windows 7 CD key? I have a retail version of Windows 7, i'd definitely buy it if i could use it elsewhere? but i'm guessing no?

Or is it just a case of needing Windows 7 installed to be able to use the disk

It's different than Win7, but if you want you can make it more like 7 if you choose using one of the many free 3rd party apps to bring back the legacy start button / menu. Otherwise, it's a decent update. I've been running 8 since it was in late beta and I'm generally happy with it.

It doesn't kill your Win7 key.

I've gone from Windows 7 to Windows 8 back to Windows 7 (due to driver issues and not saving the Windows 8 ISO) and now I'm using Windows 8.1 and don't see myself going back to 7 anytime soon.

Personal pet peeve time......

"The Windows 8.1 Pro upgrade need not cost $199; how about 79 bucks?" I'm unaware of ANY country that uses BUCKS as a currency. Dollars maybe, but BUCKS no.

Well,
I have several machines running Windows 7, love it, but when Windows 8 came along i tried it and hated it.

However, when 8.1 came out i tried again and to my surprise i love it, with a few tweaks.

I have changed it to boot directly to desktop, i run a dock (objectdock) so i have neat on desktop access to my favourite apps and for everything else i use search in the charms bar, which is actually much quicker than you think.

All the other stuff, like control panel / device manager / cmd prompt (with / without admin) is now a right click away on the start button.

The tablet interface - never use it, never will.

There's a lot of good about Windows 8.1 but only 8.1. Windows 8 should be put down squealing.

Jockulation said,
I'm unaware of ANY country that uses BUCKS as a currency. Dollars maybe, but BUCKS no.

Wow, someone is in the mood to argue for no reason. Referring to dollars as bucks may be slang, but it is widely accepted slang. It is no more wrong than referring to something you don't like as a pet peeve, or using the word 'kill' in the context of a non-living CD key. Honestly, if you want to critique something, take a look at your ridiculously awful run-on sentence.

MillionVoltss said,
Uk = £59.50 . Is it worth Upgrading from Windows 7 ?

The main thing for me from 7 to 8 is the synchronization in 8 using the network login. I use a lot of different systems so it comes in handy. If you use a multi-monitor desktop, having the taskbar across all the monitors is nice. The pro version of 8 has Hyper-V integrated which is good for developers.

Uplift said,
Does anyone know if it kills the Windows 7 CD key? I have a retail version of Windows 7, i'd definitely buy it if i could use it elsewhere? but i'm guessing no?
If you buy the upgrade, it won't kill the win7 key so you can go back, however it would be illegal to use the win7 AND the win8 keys at the same time.

If you buy the new full version you can use both at the same time.

MillionVoltss said,
Uk = £59.50 . Is it worth Upgrading from Windows 7 ?

I'm not crazy about the interface. If I upgrade it will be because of the benchmarks that show better performance over Windows 7 and I think Windows 8 has better SSD support.

Jockulation said,
It doesn't kill your Win7 key.

I've gone from Windows 7 to Windows 8 back to Windows 7 (due to driver issues and not saving the Windows 8 ISO) and now I'm using Windows 8.1 and don't see myself going back to 7 anytime soon.

Personal pet peeve time......

"The Windows 8.1 Pro upgrade need not cost $199; how about 79 bucks?" I'm unaware of ANY country that uses BUCKS as a currency. Dollars maybe, but BUCKS no.

I think the question was, if he upgrades from Windows 7 to Windows 8 can he install Windows 7 on another machine entirely using the Windows 7 Product Key that he had originally upgraded from.

I think the answer is: Yes, probably will be able to do that but technically you are not suppose to do that. You will be violating your upgrade EULA. If that matters to you at all. If, for some reason, you have to do a reinstall and that requires installing Windows 7 first then you may also have activation problems.

As far as your pet peeve goes: Seriously dude? Have you never heard of 'buck' being slang for money? Come on! There are more important things to be a complete ass about.

Jockulation said,
It doesn't kill your Win7 key.

I've gone from Windows 7 to Windows 8 back to Windows 7 (due to driver issues and not saving the Windows 8 ISO) and now I'm using Windows 8.1 and don't see myself going back to 7 anytime soon.

Personal pet peeve time......

"The Windows 8.1 Pro upgrade need not cost $199; how about 79 bucks?" I'm unaware of ANY country that uses BUCKS as a currency. Dollars maybe, but BUCKS no.

I use BUCKeyes for my currency haha that was just horrible...how about Monopoly money?

You all do know that the Amazon copy is just an Upgrade meaning you need a Pre-installed OS.
The Pricing for Windows 8.1 Core $119.99 and the Windows 8.1 Pro $199.99 are Full version there is no more upgrade version

With Pro you get few more options
VHD boot, Assigned access, Client Hyper-V, Domain Join, Group Policy, BitLocker and BitLocker To Go and Remote Desktop (host)
The Pro is more Workstation Type OS that why you are paying $80 more for it

Non of Windows 8.1 Editions come with MCE nor DVD movie playback it is sold separate.

Most people that would be buying the disk have an existing system. If they're building one they can buy the OEM disk for $95 for standard or $129 for the pro. Of course you don't get support services with the OEM version but how many system builders need it?

Sure that true but that a lot of work and god help your if your on a slow internet it take for ever upgrade Windows 8 to 8.1 after that only way get it as for I know of unless one could hold DVD copy Steam installer because I petty sure the reg DVD will not work.

That Win 8 Pro Upgrade *can* be installed on a empty drive as a full version, you just need to change one registry entry. Google it.

You forgot you have to run the Command Prompt enter in a command line, and same as windows 7 no big deal there and wasn't the point so what ever.

For the 95% of the general public, they only need the core version. I think $120 is quite a reasonable asking price. When you think about the amount of use/life and what went into it...compared to say a game for $90, it is pretty fair i think.

...but I would take a copy for $79 =P

UseLess said,
...compared to say a game for $90, it is pretty fair i think.

Are you off your @#$% rockeeerrr $90 I take it your only foul that pay's those kind of price around here.
There no reason for Microsoft not sell at $50 a pop after all they have done it before with Windows 7 Family Pack 3 User Upgrade $150, in fact they could sell it at same price as Windows 8 at $15 a pop even knowing I pass it up as I didn't like the new OS in fact I still don't like Windows 8.1 so you see if really want to they could solve a lot problem after there bitch about not want to support Windows 7 as long XP well may they get off there butt and do something about like for starter get the price way down get raid of Metro UI design and Windows Store (What a joke it is vs Google Play Store) that junk belong on Phones and Tables not my Desktop nor Laptop.

I should note that the link to the Windows 8 Pro upgrade at Windows Observer is an affiliate link, but not here on our article here at Neowin. So if you read that site, and want to support it, click the link at theirs instead

Since Windows has a built in App Store and Microsoft gets a cut from the app store -- Windows should be cheaper for OEMs to buy and for consumers to purchase at retail.

Apple claims to have paid out over $10 billion to app developers -- which is after their 30% cut in app sales. I would suspect Apple makes a good chunk of money. They obviously have costs, hosting apps, inspecting apps, maintain the stores, certificates, CRLs, etc...

But I think Apple is making a good amount of money off their app store.

"In January 2012, Apple announced it had paid out $4 billion, so in the last twelve months, it has paid out $3 billion, and Apple has trousered $1.3bn. Which again sounds like a lot." - http://www.gamesbrief.com/2013...nt-care-about-the-appstore/ -- it might not be enough to prop Microsoft up, but it is reason to discount the OS.

You don't have to suspect. You just have to look at their reporting. It's a few percent of their revenue. They make almost all their money selling hardware. Half of total revenue is selling iphones. Their revenue is around 155 billion so if they only got 30% of 4 billion, that would be under 1%.

Hell, they offered it for cheaper than that one time didn't they? I can't remember how much I paid but even I paid for an 8 key even though I don't use it. I figure it's good to have in case I ever have to use 8. I'll probably throw 8.1 on and try it out. I've been happy on Linux, like I always am, until it comes to a screeching halt because something I consider important is impossible. This time it's DirecTV's online version of Sunday Ticket requiring Flash 11.5 which you can't get on Linux. I blame DirecTV in this situation for relying on ****ty technology though.

The Pro Upgrade of 8.0 is only $68 AUD at Officeworks in Australia. Pretty cheap for simply a product key that you can use to activate 8.1 media.

Yea, I just bought a copy from Amazon. I can't figure out why it's $199 if you download it directly but the Amazon DVD is $79? I thought it might be an education copy, but it's a full pro version.