Less than a year ago, we were preparing to launch Windows 8, which introduced our vision of highly personalised mobile computing. And here we are today announcing the global availability of Windows 8.1. Windows 8.1 demonstrates our commitment to continuously improving the product to create a richer customer experience. We are excited to have Australian customers start updating their devices today and getting to experience new Windows devices as we head into the summer holidays.

Windows 8.1 brings a variety of new features and improvements to Windows 8 that we think Australians will really enjoy. We listened to your feedback and are delivering many of the improvements you asked for. Check out Brendon LeBlanc’s blog for a deeper view into the exciting changes we’ve made in Windows 8.1.

If you are a consumer with a Windows 8 device, you can now download the free update to Windows 8.1 online through the Windows Store*. Please visit Windows.com for everything you need to know including how to get the update for your Windows 8 device.

If you are a consumer on a device running Windows 7 or the Windows 8.1 Preview – this page on Windows.com will detect your OS and provide you with all the information you need in order to get Windows 8.1 on your device. I also highly recommend reading our FAQ which answers many of the most common questions about getting Windows 8.1.

Windows 8.1 is not designed for installation on devices running Windows XP or Windows Vista. Although not designed or recommended for devices running Windows XP or Windows Vista, consumers still wanting to upgrade from Windows XP or Windows Vista should buy the retail DVD instead of using the download and boot from the DVD to do a clean install of Windows 8.1. Note: files, settings and programs will not transfer – Consumers will need to back up their files and settings, perform clean installation, and then reinstall their files, settings and programs.

Starting on October 18th, Windows 8.1 will also be available on new devices and as packaged DVD product at retail locations around the Australia as well online at the Microsoft Store. Microsoft’s recommended retail pricing (incl. GST) is:
Windows 8.1 - $149.99
Windows 8.1 Pro - $399.99
Windows 8.1 Pro Pack - $249.99

You can also click here to learn about the wide variety of Windows devices available now and coming throughout the holiday season to find the one that best fits your needs, and budget.

Another new development is the introduction of Windows Store gift cards. Windows Store gift cards are a new way to buy apps, games, and more in the Windows Store on Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.1 in addition to select Xbox stores. Customers can purchase physical gift cards from retailers or digital codes online.

For me personally, Windows 8.1 is about a vision and deep commitment to creating experiences that are going to truly delight Australians, whether they are at work, at home or on the go. From enabling innovative new devices to amazing services and Apps, Windows 8.1 represents a collaboration across our entire company to bring together a connected experience that is truly personal to you.

I hope you enjoy Windows 8.1!

Tina Flammer, Windows Lead, Microsoft Australia


*Internet access required; fees may apply.