Windows 8.1 Professional now available on DreamSpark [Update]

Microsoft has now made Windows 8.1 Professional available to DreamSpark users.

Although not yet listed in the Software catalogue, Neowin member CobaltHex tipped us off with the above image, so log in and check to see if it can be downloaded in your region.

This is just one more group that has been given early access ahead of the Oct. 18th general release date following outrage from developers and enthusiasts alike, as well as an internal struggle within Microsoft surrounding the initial staggered release plans.

For those without MSDN, TechNet and Dreamspark access, and you are already running Windows 8, the free 8.1 update will be made available in the Windows Store app from Oct. 18 worldwide, U.S. users will get it a day earlier through the same method.

Alternatively, you will be able to buy the standard or Pro version from that date as a boxed copy costing $119, and $199 respectively at your favorite PC store. Windows 8.1 can also be purchased online at the Windows.com Store, although the digitial downloading pricing has not yet been revealed.

Additionally, all versions of Windows 8.1 will be what Microsoft calls "full version software." This will allow users to run the operating system in a virtual environment, a decision Microsoft made after receiving feedback from Windows 8's release. Another change in Windows 8.1 installation process is the removal of direct upgrades from Windows XP and Vista. While users of Windows 7 will be able to keep their files and folders, users of the prior two Windows versions will need to do a clean install of Windows 8.1.

Update: Apparently this only applies to DreamSpark Premium users. Thanks letmesee for the update!
Update 2: Windows Server 2012 R2 & Datacenter is there too. Thanks @tweettelenarie!

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57 Comments

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Noticed this yesterday. Unfortunately the same time they put it up they also updated all student status. I graduated in the spring and it still showed me as eligible until yesterday.

Also not available on IEEE DreamSpark Premium

Thought I might be able to get a few more Windows 8 keys.

So, basically Microsoft shafts students yet again. Premium? What about Basic? What good is that if you never add anything to it? C'mon Microsoft. Quit screwing your users over.

Dot Matrix said,
So, basically Microsoft shafts students yet again. Premium? What about Basic? What good is that if you never add anything to it? C'mon Microsoft. Quit screwing your users over.

Not really, if you don't have access to premium that's to do with your University. You have a Windows 8 licence anyway so just download the ISO and compare the SHA1 to that on Technet or MSDN.

InsaneNutter said,

Not really, if you don't have access to premium that's to do with your University. You have a Windows 8 licence anyway so just download the ISO and compare the SHA1 to that on Technet or MSDN.

I don't have access to it. It's a free update for Windows 8 users, so why not just release it to Dreamspark students? Microsoft wants to promote development, yet doesn't give out the require tools necessary to develop. Dreamspark Basic is a waste of time.

Dot Matrix said,

I don't have access to it. It's a free update for Windows 8 users, so why not just release it to Dreamspark students? Microsoft wants to promote development, yet doesn't give out the require tools necessary to develop. Dreamspark Basic is a waste of time.

You get Visual Studio, SQL Server and Windows Server 2012 Data Centre Edition. I think that is pretty generous for just having a student email address, especially considering the cost to purchase them.

The Windows Server licence is an SPLA one so you can use it with various dedicated hosting providers such as OVH. I've been extremely grateful for that.

Sure it would be nice to get Windows and Office, however when I was at Uni they gave me Windows and I got Office for about £30, which wasn't a bad deal.

If you're getting a STEM degree then you probably have access to Dreamspark Premium. If not, well then you're probably not going to use it for anything other than free Windows licenses.

mrp04 said,
If you're getting a STEM degree then you probably have access to Dreamspark Premium. If not, well then you're probably not going to use it for anything other than free Windows licenses.

I am enrolled in developer courses, but my college doesn't use Dreamspark. Besides, it wouldn't be too hard for Microsoft to confirm what OS I am using.

Dot Matrix said,

I am enrolled in developer courses, but my college doesn't use Dreamspark. Besides, it wouldn't be too hard for Microsoft to confirm what OS I am using.

If you have a valid 8.0 key just get the 8.1 RTM ISO however you want and use your key. The hashes are available to make sure it hasn't been screwed with.

Heartripper said,

No, the same happens to me (Italy)

So I think we have to wait some days (or even for the release day) to get it..

I checked some universities' Dreamspark stores around the world. For example, at University of Sydney's store, Windows 8.1 Pro can be found at these languages: English, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish. Unfortunately I couldn't found the Greek language..

@Neobond, is there the Greek language on TechNet?

Well the Windows Store method is the upgrade path. The ISO on DreamSpark is the full standalone version, and people have had varied results trying to upgrade.

I think I'm going to wait until the Windows Store release. I want to see what the upgrade experience is like.

Only four weeks to go...

it is an upgrade from the image as well. just restarting two times and all fine. just need to run the image via the image function of win8 and select "keep apps files and settings" which is selected by default. just 3 clicks and 1 key entry and all good

-adrian- said,
it is an upgrade from the image as well. just restarting two times and all fine. just need to run the image via the image function of win8 and select "keep apps files and settings" which is selected by default. just 3 clicks and 1 key entry and all good

I'm aware that it's installed simply with a DVD. I've done it many times before. However, this PC has no disc drive, I don't own a USB stick and I'd rather install it via the Windows Store at GA.

FaiKee said,
It's in the "windows 8" download, scroll down to bottom. And damn it, only 1 key available!

They said you can use your windows 8 key, i've not tried it yet thought.

Lant said,
Terrible shame that I've just graduated

Well you had better enroll in a community college or a free university asap then

blerk said,

Well you had better enroll in a community college or a free university asap then

I'll just wait a year, should start the PhD by then. However, the thing I'm really going to want is Visual Studio 2013 Pro

JonnyLH said,
Me to, downloaded RTM and activated with the 8.0 key. Although set-up wouldnt accept it.

Same here, I used a different key to setup (I've since reinstalled with the TechNet version and 8.1 key).

you can activate the 8.0 key afterwards and also add the media center stuff. the install did cancel when i used the 8.0 key though but i upgraded two pcs with the 8.1 key and changed it back to the other key afterwards.

MiniMeSorinel said,
Anyone know if you can install & activate it with the 8.0 key from dreamspark?

You must use an 8.1 key to install it, but once installed you can put an 8.0 key in and activate. The installer doesn't allow 8.0 keys for some reason. There is a "generic" 8.1 key for each version that you can use to install.

OKay, I have two 8.0 keys one from Dreamspark, and the other that I bought, both do not work with the 8.1 ISO. Only the 8.1 key from Dreamspark works...