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Microsoft has confirmed the pricing structure for its new Windows 8.1 version of its operating system and it’s also bringing back the preferred ‘full version’ release that it killed off with Windows 8.

Priced at $119.99, the standard upgrade from Windows versions older than Windows 8 gets your foot in the door, but if you want the proper Pro version then you’ll want to set aside $199.99 for the upgrade. Those paying attention will notice that these prices are the same as the Windows 8 upgrade prices are currently, which is nice.

As we already knew, anyone running Windows 8 currently will get a free upgrade to Windows 8.1, or Windows Blue as we’ve come to semi-affectionately call it of late.

Windows 8.1 box

The biggest change this time around comes in the form of a new ‘full version’ of Windows 8.1. Currently, people buying retail copies of Windows 8 can only buy upgrade versions, with an existing installation of Windows required to get the ball rolling. That’s all well and good unless you happen to be building a new PC, or just pick up a new hard disk for example. Installing Windows 7 just so you can upgrade it to Window 8 is no fun for anyone, and it seems someone in Redmond has come to the same conclusion.

So, anyone buying Windows 8.1 will get the full version, meaning they can either upgrade or start a new installation on a whim, which is kind of how things should have been all along. It’s also how Apple handles Mac OS X installations, too.

Win8.1_ProPack_Boxshot_LeftAngle_735F212A

Microsoft has also detailed how users who buy pre-built machines with Windows 8 on will be able to upgrade to the Pro version by paying $99.99. They can then upgrade to a Media Center install for a further ten dollars, according to Microsoft.

Surface Pro

Windows 8.1 is believed to be the version of Windows that last year’s Windows 8 should have been. We’ll see how well it goes down with customers – hopefully better than Windows 8 did!

Windows 8.1 release date is penned down for October 17th with general availability for everyone on 18th. We will, as usual, update you with more news when the release actually happens next month, so stay tuned.

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