I’m one of those people who likes to install Windows from scratch when there is a new version and most of the time I make my own bootable USB/DVD drive from an ISO file, but it seems that this won’t be the case with Windows 8.1. According to an answer from the Microsoft forums the software giant won’t be offering the option to download the .ISO file for Windows 8.1 to the general public.
Furthermore, the only ones able to download the .ISO file are customers with Volume Licensing programs, TechNet, and MSDN subscribers, or students with a valid DreamSpark account. Basically, this means that a small business with 15 computers will technically have to upgrade to Windows 8.1 by downloading 3.5GB worth of data 15 times via the Windows Store.
For now the Windows Store is the only way that regular customers will be able to download the upgrade installation files in an ISO file format. Of course that new users buying the operating system will be able to download the image file — So, for new customers, here is a tip: Don’t lose the file!
What’s your opinion? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks.
Update: Here is a Tweet statement from Brandon LeBlanc, Senior Marketing Communications Manager on the Marketing Group at Microsoft, to Twitter user on this topic.
@Dericslab no we don't have any plans to make ISO images available outside of MSDN/TechNet subscriptions.
— Brandon LeBlanc (@brandonleblanc) October 18, 2013
Update: There is a workaround that allows anyone with a valid Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro product key to download the Windows 8.1 ISO from Microsoft.