It’s been a couple of weeks since Microsoft released first major update to Windows 8.1 operating system. Windows 8.1 Update (also known as Windows 8.1 Update 1) is a free update to all Windows 8.1, and even Windows 8 users can perform a direct upgrade to Windows 8.1 Update by installing available update from Windows Store.
Many Mac users install Windows 8.1 on their Mac computers to get access to the vast number of games and software exclusively developed for Windows. Most users prefer installing Windows on a Mac using the official Boot Camp Assistant software as opposed to installing Windows in a virtual machine such as VirtualBox and Parallels Desktop, and in order to install Windows 8.1 on Mac, you need to have Windows 8.1 ISO image or setup files.
If you’re already running Windows 7 or Windows 8 on your Mac, downloading Windows 8.1 ISO shouldn’t be a problem, as you can simply download Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant and then enter the product key to download the ISO file or even create a bootable USB out of it. But if you don’t have a version of Windows running on your Mac, the only option you have is to download Windows 8.1 Update 90-day trial copy from Microsoft TechNet by logging in with your Microsoft account (or by creating a new one).
NOTE: After you sign-in with your Microsoft account, you will be asked to install Akamal NetSession Interface, a download manager used to speed up the download process.
In short, if you want to test drive Windows 8.1 Update on Mac, you can simply visit the download page provided at the end of this article to download the Windows 8.1 Update Enterprise edition copy from Microsoft servers. But if you have a genuine Windows 8.1 product key, and want to download Windows 8.1 on your Mac from Microsoft by providing the genuine key, you have no option but to install Windows 8.1 trial copy (either using Boot Camp or virtual machine), and then run the Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant in order to download your edition of Windows 8.1.
Please note that the Upgrade Assistant doesn’t let you download Windows 8.1 ISO by entering Windows 8 product key. Even though, there is a workaround to download Windows 8.1 ISO from Microsoft by using Windows 8 product key, we believe Microsoft has fixed it and the method no longer works.
Instead, if you have Windows 8 product key and running Windows 8 on your Mac in Boot Camp or virtual machine, simply download Windows 8 and then follow the instructions in our how to directly upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 Update guide to easily upgrade your Windows 8 installation to Windows 8.1 Update.