Here is a shopping tip for you. The Windows 8 launch is officially here and available from all retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, etc. for $70. Most retailers also sell the Windows 8 Pro edition for $100, but some have it on “sale” for $70. The big shopping secret is that you can buy the Windows 8 PRO Upgrade for only $39.99 directly through Microsoft.com!
To do this you only have to own a PC that has Windows XP Service Pack 3 or later. Be aware that installing this Windows 8 Pro $40 upgrade will invalidate the Windows Product Key for whatever version of Windows you are upgrading from. Microsoft gives you the option of a direct install or creating installation media. For the second option you need to have a USB drive or burnable DVD handy.
This is, by far, the lowest upgrade pricing Microsoft has ever offered for Windows. But you’ll need to act within the next couple months, as the promotional upgrade pricing will be in effect only through January 31, 2013. The prices will then jump to well over $100.
In addition, recent purchasers of Windows 7-based PCs can choose to upgrade to Windows 8 for $14.95 through the Microsoft site. You must have purchased your Windows 7 PC between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013 and you have to register for the offer at windowsupgradeoffer.com before February 28, 2013.
Why did Microsoft choose to do this?
“We’ve continued to listen to our customers and have expanded the ability to download Windows 8 to over 100 countries and 37 languages, a post on Microsoft’s Blogging Windows site notes. “We have simplified the Windows upgrade experience with the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant which supports you during your upgrade with everything from selecting your language to pausing your download to built-in compatibility checks – it’s seamless. And if you’re an enthusiast, you will have the flexibility to download and control how you upgrade.”
Critics point out that Microsoft might be offering the super low $40 Windows 8 Pro Upgrade in order to persuade consumers who find the new Windows 8 difficult and confusing to use. For those who desire a Start Menu like in Windows 7 Stardockand Pokki offer a Start menu add-on that work well. Businesses are also not that enthusiastic about Windows 8 and the initially lower price might convince some to upgrade their business earlier than usual. Windows 8 users will eventually benefit from using the first unified operating system, but for the moment that vision is still a dream.