Well, the big day is here, at least for current Windows 8 users. Microsoft has officially announced that Windows 8.1 is now available for download in the Windows Store.

So all you Windows 8 loyalists can fire up your download engines!

As promised, Microsoft is offering the first ever refresh of its modern Windows platform free of charge to those running Windows 8 โ€” computers that are powered by an earlier version of the operating system will have to wait until tomorrow, the official launch.

Boxed copies of Windows 8.1 will also hit store shelves tomorrow, and can be bought from $119.99 for the standard version and $199.99 for the Professional flavor of the new operating system.

Microsoft is rolling Windows 8.1 gradually across the world, with the United States being one of the first countries that get the new upgrade.

Here are the official system requirements for Windows 8.1, by the way:

Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
Free hard drive space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

Do keep in mind that if you are running the Preview version of Windows 8.1 (released earlier this year), upgrading to Windows 8.1 RTM will remove all installed apps and settings. However, upgrading from Windows 8 core keeps and saves all your personal settings.

The download automatically takes care of everything and provides a very comfortable upgrade process.

So there you have it, folks โ€” another milestone in the long and illustrious history of the worldโ€™s most popular operating platform. Sound off in the comments when you install Windows 8.1 from the Store.

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  • Rodney Longoria

    Whoop … there it is! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ray C

    Finally now we can all start talking about what comes next LOL

  • valapsp

    i’m not an msdn subscriber and i want the iso file. I’m out of luck I guess!

    • Ray C

      I’m sure they’ll have an ISO available for people who prefer to upgrade that way

      • valapsp

        Official word from MS: We’re not releasing the ISO images to folks who don’t have MSDN and TechNet subscriptions. Best way for everyone else is to update through the Windows Store.

        • Ray C

          Well, they’ve changed their mind on a few things. I’m sure there is room for another potential 180 LOL

  • golddust34

    Would like to get my laptop updated today because I teach a Windows 8 class tomorrow. So far it isn’t showing up in the store for me. My edition of 8 was obtained through my computer club because I’m teaching it. Wonder if that makes a difference. We get our software through http://www.techsoup.org.

  • Andy Mortimer

    Now we got windows 8.1. Had the Can’t find WiFi network errors, solved that problem by using Ethernet cable and updated the driver for the WiFi card. now if i say run update… it says its never been run and that the restore points not turned on and get this message. anyone who got any ideas? (or is this because there no updated for 8.1 yet? ) someone already talking about Win 8.2 what this?

  • Steve Hayes

    Cannot see the Win8.1RTM download yet in the store…help !

    • Michael Paterson

      I restarted my surface and it popped right up in the store.

  • Theara Sokun

    Windows 8.1 RTM or windows 8.1 final?

  • Doug

    I’m so frustrated, I don’t even know where to begin!
    It lost MANY of my windows settings & even though all the files are still in place it can’t locate many things (for instance the friggin MS Mouse software!) PLUS it has totally messed up COMODO (parts of it are running, but other parts won’t load & ALL my setting are missing!)!
    Why did I bother with this… I should have known!

  • Robert W. Burnham

    I installed it on my two desktop systems last night. The download took a long time (about 4 hours on reasonably fast cable internet). Once downloaded, the installation was less than an hour, and the gaming PC with its SSD and fast quad-core CPU chewed through the update noticeably quicker than the other, slower system.

    I tried to download it on my wife’s laptop, but she’s on WIFI so the download was really slow. Hopefully tonight I’ll get her up and running on 8.1.

    I had used the 8.1 preview install a few months back, so everything is as expected. It’s a nice improvement over 8.

  • kranthi

    how 2 update my pc from win 8 to 8.1

  • harryo1st

    why does it freeze when on 62% i have tried and tried it freezes every time i have windows 8 packard bell imedia3 dual core computer