Windows 8 will be releasing very soon and for those in doubt, to prove its imminence, Microsoft has just announced that upgrades from current versions of Windows will only be about forty dollars ($39.99 USD). The long list of upgradable Windows versions that can be brought to Win 8 for that price says that MS wants to really push this operating system and phase out older ones fast.
If you’re running Windows XP, Vista, or 7 – in either Home or Pro editions – you can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just forty bucks. On top of that, Windows Media Center can be added for free by just activating it in “add features” once Win 8 is installed.
This price is only available through Windows.com and for about 131 markets (which is most of them) and does not include a disc, just a download to put on USB or burn to DVD.
If you prefer to get a DVD ready to go from a store and save the hours of download, the convenienec will cost you $69.99 in most markets including the U.S. and Canada. Plus you’ll likely have to pay sales tax and such.
Microsoft is promising to offer this deal through 31 January, 2013. It will become available as soon as Windows 8 goes to general release later this year.
What this offer says about Microsoft’s plans.
Microsoft has made it clear that they’re doing away with most of the older versions of the Windows OS. In fact, they’ll stop supporting everything but Windows 7 very soon. This deal makes it clear that they are hoping to alter the usual slow curve of adoption to a new OS and make it much steeper in favor of the new release.
It’s likely that many users, and I may be included among them, will purchase Windows 8 through this deal, but not actually install it as our main OS until much later. It’s customary for most businesses and computer savvy users to wait until the first major update pack is released – usually within a year of release – to address the inevitable slew of issues that will come with adoption of the new Windows.
Just an upgrade or the full install?
This is being sold as an “upgrade” by Microsoft as a promotional tool, but it’s actually a full installation that can be done from scratch (removing the old operating system and completely wiping the disc to start over). That’s the preferred way to upgrade an OS, since it usually means fewer compatibility problems and better data integrity. Microsoft has said before that there would be no “upgrade only” version of Win 8, stepping away from past convention, likely because of support issues.
So while the new Windows 8 can be installed as an update to Windows 7, it can also be installed fresh without upgrading. MS says that purchase and upgrades can be done with a current, valid Windows key (on any of the above listed versions) or if a valid install of any of the upgradable Windows versions is currently on the system being upgraded. This includes OEM installs at the factory, so if you have a notebook or desktop that came with Windows, you can still get this deal.