Today’s the day: October 17th, the day Microsoft starts rolling out Windows 8.1. And right now, the minute this post first went live, is 7AM ET, the exact minute the OS update will start appearing in the Windows Store as a free download. Don’t have a Windows 8 device? You can still install 8.1 on a Win 7 machine; you just won’t get the update for free. For folks using Windows 7, you’ll pay the same price Microsoft was already charging for Windows 8: $120 for the standard version, and $200 for Windows 8.1 Pro.
Additionally, Microsoft will also be selling so-called full-version software, allowing you to install the OS on a machine that isn’t already running Windows. At any rate, if you’ve already got a Windows 8 device in hand, we suggest you hit up the source link below to take advantage of the free download. Or, if you’re a weirdo, you can also buy a boxed copy in a retail store. We won’t judge.
What about you Apple users?
Mac users can have Apple’s latest Mac operating system, OS X Mavericks, for free, the company announced Tuesday at an event in San Francisco.
In addition to the usual promise of increased speed and efficiency, the update has a number of improvements over 10.8 Mountain Lion, including a more robust notification system (which includes inline replies), better support for multiple monitors and full screen apps, a revamp of Finder, and the addition of iCloud Keychain for saving passwords.
Many other apps have been updated, but although some are getting a boost in functionality, a lot of the work done brings the overall aesthetic of OS X in line with Apple’s iOS 7. Gone are the Contacts app’s fake book and pages, gone are Calendar’s torn page marks, and gone is the Notes app’s yellow legal pad. This is the first time Apple has distributed a major update like Mavericks without charging — 10.8 Mountain Lion was priced at $19.99, while 10.7 Lion was $29.99. The free update is available to everyone running OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and above.
It’s worth noting that the discount doesn’t extend to OS X Server. The latest Server 3.0 requires Mavericks and will be available as a $19.99 upgrade from the Mac App Store.