While Windows 8.1 is an update to Windows 8, and you can upgrade without losing the installed applications, PC users are running an earlier version of Windows can not directly upgrade to Windows 8.1.
Although Windows 7 users can upgrade to Windows 8.1 by buying an upgrade version must reinstall all programs installed after you upgrade to Windows 8.1. That means only keep personal files and settings for Windows.
And if you are using Windows Vista or Windows XP, Microsoft recommends buying the DVD instead of downloading via the web and then perform a clean installation of Windows 8.1, which means that you must purchase the “full version software” and not upgrade copy. But before installing Windows 8.1 on Windows XP, we recommend you check if the hardware of your PC is compatible by having Windows 8.1 OS.
In other words, you can upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 8.1 without doing a clean install. If you want to upgrade to Windows 8.1 from Windows XP without having to do a clean install, you must first upgrade to Windows 8 and then upgrade to Windows 8.1 free (Windows 8.1 upgrade is free for users of Windows 8) when Microsoft releases the Windows 8.1 on 18 October.
For those who do not know, you can upgrade Windows XP to Windows 8, maintaining personal files. So when you upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 8, only lose installed programs.
Then we show how to upgrade Windows XP to Windows 8.1 using the following methods:
Method 1 (recommended):
Upgrading to Windows 8.1 by performing a clean installation: Make a backup of your files, records all programs running quickly so you can install them after installing Windows 8.1, purchase the full version of Windows 8.1 retail DVD (not upgrade version), run the installation DVD and then install Windows 8.1.
Upgrading to Windows 8.1 without doing a clean install: Purchase an upgrade copy of Windows 8 (update copies of Windows 8 currently not available once Windows 8.1 is released to the public on October 18), update your Windows XP to Windows 8, install all the programs you want to wait until October 18 and finally updates the installation of Windows 8 to Windows 8.1.