Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Updated: How to download Windows 8.1 free today

Updated: How to download Windows 8.1 free today

Updated: How to download Windows 8.1 free today

At its Build 2013 conference, Microsoft lifted the lid on Windows 8.1, and we spent some quality time with it to bring your our Hands on: Windows 8.1 review.

The update "blends the desktop and the modern experience," Ballmer said, and includes the return of the Start button (though not the Windows 7-style Start button that some people wanted), a boot-to- desktop option, and more.

In our hands on review, we found that while the interface tweaks may not appeal to everyone, the performance improvements should do, as Windows 8.1 feels generally snappier, even for simple tasks like compressing files.

But why take our word for it when you can download the Windows 8.1 update free for yourself? Here's how...

Windows 8.1 will be released as a free download for Windows 8 users on October 17. It will be available in the Windows Store so you can grab it from there.

If you're running Windows 7 and you want to upgrade, you won't get it for free. Instead, you'll be able to buy a Windows 8.1 DVD for $ 119.99 or Windows 8.1 Pro DVD for $ 199.99 from October 18.

Bizarrely, you can't buy a Windows 8.1 DVD to upgrade from Vista or XP. Instead, Microsoft says that if you're running Windows Vista or earl ier you'll need to purchase Windows 8, which then qualifies you for the free upgrade to Windows 8.1.

If you're a Windows 8 user and you can't wait until October 17, you can grab the Preview version in the meantime. Madness, we know. To do so, head over to the Windows 8.1 Preview page and click 'Get it now' and you'll download a Windows patch which, when installed, gives you an option to go to the Windows Store to download Windows 8.1. You can then download and install the update in the background.

Find out what's in store by watching our Windows 8.1 features video below:

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