Though the news this week was dominated by iOS 7, there is another operating system refresh on the horizon: Windows 8.1. Though Microsoft will offer it as a free upgrade for existing Windows 8 users, the Redmond-based company this week provided details on how much it will cost to upgrade to 8.1 from an older version of Windows.
In the US, consumers will be able to download Windows 8.1 via Windows.com or purchase it in store as a packaged DVD. The standard Windows 8.1 will cost $119.99 (£75), while Windows 8.1 Pro will set you back $199.99 (£125), which is similar to the current pricing structure for Windows 8.
With Windows 8 Pro, you get some enhanced security features, and the ability to host a remote desktop connection or connect to a corporate or school network. If you buy a PC with standard Windows 8.1, you can upgrade to Pro for $99.99 (£62), which includes Windows Media Center. If you already have Windows 8.1 Pro, you can add Windows Media Center for $9.99 (£6).
Windows 8.1 is scheduled to start hitting the shelves on 17 October. If you can't wait another month for some reason, you could purchase Windows 8 now and then upgrade to 8.1 for free when it is released.
"One shift to note in Windows 8.1 is that we will be offering 'full version software' at retail and online for download that does not require a previous version of Windows in order to be installed," Microsoft said in a blog post.
"The copy of Windows 8 that is currently available for sale at retail and online is an 'upgrade version.' This shift allows more flexibility for customers in specific technical scenarios and is in response to feedback we've received. It will be easier for those consumers who want to build PCs from scratch, run Windows 8.1 in Virtual Machine (VM) environments, or run Windows 8.1 on a second hard drive partition."
If you have Windows 7, the upgrade will transfer files, but desktop apps like Microsoft Office will have to be reinstalled.
Microsoft said that Windows 8.1 was "not designed for installation on devices running Windows XP or Windows Vista." But if you truly have no other options, it recommends getting the DVD and doing a clean install.
With XP and Vista, "files, settings and programs will not transfer – Consumers will need to back up their files and settings, perform clean installation, and then reinstall their files, settings and programs."