July 3, 2012

Microsoft’s Windows 8 Will Start At $39.99

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

Microsoft is pulling another page out of Apple's playbook, by offering its users a cheaper upgrade to its Windows 8 operating system.

The company announced it will be offering users who already are running Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 the professional version of Windows 8 for $39.99.

The price is considerably cheaper than its previous operating system's price point, which was Windows 7 at $199.99.

The $39.99 price will only be available for online downloads through windows.com, but those users who prefer a disc can pay $15 for a backup disc, or buy a $60 upgrade in Microsoft stores.

Microsoft's price cut is following the trend of Apple's last three operating system price points for users using up-to-date software. Apple introduced its Mac OSX Snow Leopard operating system to users back in 2009 at a price of just $29 for users who chose to download the software online.

Apple continued its cheaper operating system offering when it released its Mac OSX Lion software in 2011 for just $29 as well. Now, the company has lowered the price even more, offering up its latest Mac OX Mountain Lion software this summer at just $19, once it is released in July.

Microsoft's move is most likely not just motivated by Apple's rising success, but also to get its users to move to a newer operating system.

NetMarketShare reported that about 40 percent of computers are still running Windows XP, which was originally released back in 2001. This outdated operating system has a higher number of user's than Microsoft's most recent release, Windows 7, which holds 39 percent market share.

Users running the outdated Windows XP will only be able to transfer their personal files with them when upgrading to Windows 8. Windows Vista users will be able to bring their Windows settings and personal files, while Windows 7 users can bring their settings, files and applications.

Microsoft is playing catch up with its latest operating system release by incorporating tablet-computers heavy into the software. The company is far behind in market share to both Apple and Google in tablet sales, and its computer share has taken a hit from Apple in the past decade as well.

The company announced on Monday that it will take a $6.2 billion hit on its fourth fiscal quarter by writing down the value of its ads acquisition, aQuantive.

Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system is expected to be released this fall to 131 markets. The company said that its online and in-store price offering will last until January 31, 2013.