Microsoft revealed the pricing and packaging for Windows 8.1 today in a blog post. The updated desktop OS will come in three versions, available online starting on Oct.17 at 4 a.m. Pacific and 7 a.m. Eastern. The update is free for users already running Windows 8, but if you’re hoping to update from Windows 7 or earlier you’ll need to shell out $119.99 for the basic version or $199.99 for Windows 8 Pro.
Windows 8.1 will be available as a download from Windows.com, or in-store, and Microsoft is also offering a Pro Pack for $99.99, intended for users who install the basic version and later want to upgrade to Pro. New computers running Windows 8.1 will also begin shipping at the same time the updated software hits stores, starting on Oct. 18.
Upgrading from an older version of Windows to 8.1 will be trickier this time around than it was with Windows 8, as the new software is designed to be installed on devices running the current operating system. To get around this barrier you’ll have to work through a clean install, meaning users will have to reinstall basic programs like Office.