Windows 8.1 is almost upon us. We have official pricing details to go with the official release date of the first ever refresh of Microsoft’s flagship operating system.
The company has also put up the new OS for preorder so that users can reserve their very own copy of the operating system. Shipments will, obviously, begin on October 18, though Windows 8 users will be able to download the OS for free from the Windows Store.
But to help users understand the upgrade process, Microsoft has put up all the relevant details on the Windows 8.1 page on its official store website.
And just as expected, Redmond has confirmed that Windows 8.1 is not designed for installation on computers that are running Windows XP or Windows Vista — meaning users of these older platforms will have to opt for a clean install.
Windows 7 users, on the other hand, will find upgrading to Windows 8.1 a delicious piece of cake. All their files are automatically transferred to Windows 8, Microsoft confirms.
The company further explains that XP and Vista users should first purchase Windows 8 and only then get the free update from the Windows Store:
“If you’re running Windows 8, visit the Windows Store for a free update to Windows 8.1 starting on October 17. If you’re running Windows 7, your files will easily transfer. If you’re running Windows Vista or earlier, qualify for the free upgrade to Windows 8.1 by purchasing Windows 8 now.”
As for hardware requirements, they are pretty straightforward.
Windows 8.1 requires at least a 1GHz or faster processor, with a minimum of 1GB of memory for 32-bit installation and 2GB for the 64-bit version — the former eats up 16GB of storage space while the latter requires around 20GB of hard disk real estate, by the way.
Obviously, a touchscreen display is needed to make the most of the modern UI, and the company recommends a Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with a WDDM driver for a silky smooth experience.