Windows 8.1, which rolled out as a free update for current Windows 8 users on October 17th, received some backlash from those wishing to upgrade to the latest operating system. Microsoft did not provide a downloadable ISO file for those who wanted to do a clean install or recover from a system error.
It appears that a "backup media" for Windows 8.1 will soon go on sale at Newegg for $15, beginning November 15th. This DVD comes with no serial and no description is offered about the disc. One can only assume that this is the Windows 8.1 recovery disc, for those who experience install errors.
"Microsoft has no plans to make ISO files available for consumers as an alternative installation method."
Our guess is that this DVD also contains the Windows 8.1 update for those who do not want to snag the hefty update via the Windows Store on a slow internet connection. Either way, we have reached out to Microsoft and they provided us with a generic statement:
"The Windows Store is the best way for consumer customers to update their Windows 8 device to Windows 8.1. Microsoft has no plans to make ISO files available for consumers as an alternative installation method. In unique circumstances where customers need assistance getting Up & Running with Windows 8.1, Microsoft Support is enabled with the necessary tools to ensure all customers can enjoy the Windows 8.1 experience," a Microsoft spokesperson told WinBeta.
So, no clear indication as to what this DVD contains but Microsoft seems adamant that the best way to snag the Windows 8.1 update is via the Windows Store. If you disagree with this, then this DVD is what you are looking for.
Microsoft is already offering a full version of Windows 8, complete with the Windows 8.1 update, for the same price as Windows 8. This method lets you install Windows 8.1 directly from a DVD. While pricing varies by market, in the US, Windows 8.1 is available for $119.99 ERP (US) and Windows 8.1 Pro is available for $199.99 ERP (US).
You can also purchase Windows 8.1 Pro Pack for $99.99, which gives you Windows Media Center. If you are already on Windows 8.1 Pro, you can buy Windows Media Center for $9.99.
You can head over to the VIA link below to check out the order page and purchase your Windows 8.1 backup media. Or you can head over here and make your own Windows 8.1 ISO file.