The Windows Blog has a new post discussing the packaging and pricing for the upcoming retail release for Windows 8.1 on October 18th (a month away!). Pricing is $119.99 for standard and $199.99 for Pro editions. An add-on to upgrade to Pro (Pro-Pack) is $99.99, which allows you to go from 8.1 Standard to 8.1 Pro and includes Media Center. If you are a Pro user, a $9.99 upgrade is available to enable Media Center. Packaging is similar to Windows 8.
One thing to note – Microsoft is now releasing a ‘Full Version’ edition rather than just an upgrade edition this time around, due to consumer suggestions.
One shift to note in Windows 8.1 is that we will be offering “full version software” at retail and online for download that does not require a previous version of Windows in order to be installed. The copy of Windows 8 that is currently available for sale at retail and online is an “upgrade version.” This shift allows more flexibility for customers in specific technical scenarios and is in response to feedback we’ve received. It will be easier for those consumers who want to build PCs from scratch, run Windows 8.1 in Virtual Machine (VM) environments, or run Windows 8.1 on a second hard drive partition.