May 15, 2012

Microsoft To Offer Cheap Windows 8 Upgrade

As Microsoft readies themselves for the release of their new operating system, Windows 8, some would-be PC buyers may be a little hesitant to pull the trigger, for fear they´ll have to pay another fee to upgrade their systems to the latest and greatest.

These PC buyers can rest at ease, according to new stories being released today. Microsoft will only charge a nominal $14.99 to upgrade to Windows 8 to users who have recently purchased a PC running Windows 7.

According to Mary Jo Foley at CNET, it´s not unusual for Microsoft to offer such upgrade programs in order to keep PC sales flowing rather than coming to a standstill as customers await the new release. In previous versions of these incentive programs, customers who purchase the current version of the OS on new computers have been given coupons to get the newest release for free.

According to Foley´s sources, those customers who buy a machine running Windows 7 Home Basic or higher will be able to upgrade as high as Windows 8 Pro once it becomes available. This “pro” version includes features such as encryption, virtualization, and other professional features.

Foley says this kind of upgrade won´t come for free since the Pro version of Windows 8 offers more functionality than the more basic versions.

Foley´s sources also say the upgrade program will begin on June 2, around the time when Microsoft will issue the Release Preview of Windows 8. The program is said to be good through January 2013.

Paul Thurrot, in his SuperSite Blog says his sources have given him different information.

Thurrot agrees with Foley and says the program will launch on June 2, and says the exact price of upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8 for new computer buyers will be $14.99.

As Thurrot says in his blog, “the Windows 8 promotion is different. This time around, Microsoft is only offering two mainstream versions of the product to consumers: Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. And instead of offering a free upgrade to the version of Windows 8 that most closely matches the version of Windows 7 a user buys with a new PC, Microsoft will this time offering only the higher-end Windows 8 Pro.”

Thurrot also agrees with Foley in saying the new upgrade program will coincide with the Windows 8 Release Preview, which should be due in early June. While Microsoft has yet to announce an official release date, the company is widely expected to announce it in the second half of 2012.

According to Thurrot, Microsoft will also provide “in-the-box” upgrades to Windows 8 users in the form of packs. For example, those users who purchase the basic level of Windows 8 will be able to purchase upgrades, giving them the functionality of the Pro versions or Windows Media Player capabilities. These upgrades will replace the old Windows Anywhere Upgrade program and will be available via a new interface called Add Features to Windows 8.

There is no word yet as to how much these upgrade packs will cost.


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