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
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.
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