Ask LH: How Can I Cheaply Upgrade To Windows 8.1?

Dear Lifehacker, I have an Acer Aspire E1 531 with Windows 7 on it. I would like to upgrade to Windows 8.1 when it comes out but I am confused on which is the cheapest method to upgrade. Can you please help? Thanks, Confused Student

Dear CS,

At this point, the options are fairly simple: as a Windows 7 owner, you'll be able to purchase a copy of Windows 8.1 for $149.99 (the same price that is currently being charged for Windows 8) when it goes on sale on 18 October. The pricing is the same whether you purchase a download copy or a DVD.

When Windows 8 launched, there were cheaper upgrade options on sale, but we haven't (as yet) seen any similar official offers for Windows 8.1. Existing Windows 8 users get the upgrade for free, but everyone else has to pay. Shopping around on launch day is likely to score you a minor saving, but we'll be surprised if that amounts to more than $10 or so.

As a student, however, you should be able to take advantage of slightly cheaper student pricing: a Windows 8 upgrade costs $69.99, and we're expecting that to continue when the new version comes out. Student pricing may not be updated on the day of release, but given it amounts to 50 per cent off, that's worth hanging around for.

Cheers Lifehacker

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    Wasn't the upgrade still available at Officeworks only weeks ago?

      And apparently still is:

        I'd imagine they will just do an 8.1 upgrade that will likely accept XP and onward keys anyway to replace the current windows 8 upgrade option (as you've linked), for quite likely the exact same price, given this is essentially a free/iterative update..

          Sorry, yes, I meant the 8.0 upgrade is still available, and the 8.1 is free on top of that.

      It says in stores only and there is hardly any stock left in NSW.

    Yeah check Officeworks or Big W stores in case they have any stock, they sell the Windows 8 Pro upgrade for $68, then just update to 8.1 for free when it comes out. I got the $40 upgrade for my desktop when that offer was still going. My laptop wasn't working back then so I couldn't get it for that but after trying in Lismore and Coffs Harbour while I was recently on holidays I was able to find it for $68 at Big W in Coffs Harbour.

    for some strange reason Officeworks still has it on their website, but actually they dont have any stock. I went looking to buy Win8 upgrade two weeks ago and no store whatsoever had any stock! if you find a store with stock - tell me!!!

    Big W. Nope

    all gone!

      lol there's always..

      Last edited 18/10/13 2:04 am

    As a student, you have access to Dreamspark Premium/Free (depending on educational institution subscription). This allows you to download software for free legally as a student. I am currently enrolled at a university and I have access to Dreamspark Premium which allowed me to download and install windows 8.1 for free weeks before retail launch as it is an academic subscription to MSDN which gives subscribers early access to software. I would recommend checking with your institution if they have access to this service.
    If not, ms has it for $70.

    Good Luck

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