Windows 8.1 has arrived for consumers and is ready for download. All genuine Windows 8 users can download this major update for free, while people using Windows 7 must transition to 8 first for $119 in order to get the upgrade.

A whole lot of new features and fixes are found in Windows 8.1, making it more than just a service pack of security updates and performance improvements. As we’ve previously covered, the new helpful features users must know include more personalization, better search, improved bundled apps and Windows Store, more comprehensive modern-style PC settings, Internet Explorer 11, and accessibility features. The legacy desktop’s Start button is back, too! Well, sort of. We’ll let users decide if they love/hate all the new stuff as they explore the update.

All PCs sold beginning October 18 are expected to have Windows 8.1 preloaded. If not, owners and existing Windows 7/8 users can simply go to Microsoft’s website and download the update.

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