I previously discussed what options you had if you're currently using Windows XP and looking to upgrade to Windows 7. This time you get the options on upgrading to Windows 8.1.
Microsoft Support for Windows XP Ends
As I mentioned in the last segment, Windows XP support ends in April 2014. You can either buy a new/refurbished PC with Windows 7 if you prefer it over Windows 8. The other two choices are upgrade from XP to Windows 7 or upgrade from XP to Windows 8. You can find out if your PC is compatible with the upgrade by selecting here. Then select the button, "Can my PC run Windows 8." That upgrade check applies to Windows 7 as well.
Windows XP to Windows 8.1 Upgrade
One important thing to note. If you currently have Windows XP you cannot upgrade to 8.1. You can only upgrade to Windows 8. This really isn't a problem since you can get the 8.1 as a free upgrade if you have Windows 8 installed. For current Windows 8 users, you can do a free download of 8.1 from the Windows store, beginning October 17th. Full installation retail versions of 8.1 will be available for $120 starting on October 18th as well as a Pro version for $200. If you want to upgrade to 8.1 you have the choice of purchasing a digital download or a DVD at a retail reseller. Prices currently are not available.
Windows Start Button Back
It should be known that this is actually the first time that Windows 8 is available as a full install. Up until now, it could only be purchased as an upgrade or purchasing a new PC. And the famed "Start Button" will be available again as part of Windows 8.1 along with some other multitasking and tweaking enhancements. So there you have it, and for those of you with Windows XP this would be a great time to make an upgrade decision since your Microsoft support ends in April. Good luck!