Microsoft is now taking pre-orders for Windows 8.1. While the update is free for Windows 8 users, those looking to upgrade or install the OS on old hardware will need to buy a copy. Microsoft is now accepting pre-orders on Windows 8.1 for $119 and Windows 8.1 Pro for $199. Both versions are DVD copies and will be released on October 18th. Both prices are identical to existing upgrade costs today.

The software maker is taking a slightly different approach to Windows 8.1 upgrades. Although there's no promotional upgrade pricing, Microsoft is supplying users with a full copy of Windows 8.1 to use as an upgrade or clean install on hardware and virtual machines. Windows 8.1 will be available in stores on October 18th, and online as an upgrade for Windows 8 on October 17th. Microsoft plans to distribute it to existing users using the Windows Store.