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  (Source: Microsoft)
Any version of Windows XP, Vista, or 7 will be eligible for inexpensive upgrade

Say what you will about its touch reforms, and extreme user interface makeover, but Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is at least moving aggressively to give its customers a favorable price point.

To counter Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) $19.99 USD Mountain Lion licensing, Microsoft is offering Windows 8 "Pro" for only $39.99 USD via download.  A DVD version will be available for $69.99 USD (that's one expensive disc).  Clearly Microsoft is trying to funnel customers to its online process, which it hopes will lead to a more pain-free and automated installation.

Comments Microsoft:

We believe that your upgrade experience in Windows 8 will be a breeze by offering a faster experience, a single upgrade path, and compatibility from prior versions of Windows. We’ve continued to listen to our customers and have expanded the ability to download to over 100 countries and 37 languages. 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.

Somewhat strangely Microsoft is offering customers who purchase the download the option to purchase a backup DVD for $15.  In other words you can order the download and get a DVD via the backup option for $54.99 USD, or pay $15 USD extra to buy it in store.

It seems a bit counterintuitive, to say the least.

Of course if you want to snag a download or disc install be sure to first check that your hardware is capable of running Windows 8.  To test that you can grab Microsoft's Release Preview of Windows 8 from here, which comes with a test-phase build of the upgrade assitant.

Windows Team engineer Brandon LeBlanc writes Microsoft is continuing to "drive toward the RTM milestone."

Source: Windows Team Blog

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Visual Studio?
By johnsmith9875 on 7/2/2012 4:34:30 PM , Rating: 2
Does this OS break every Visual Studio program ever developed with such a radical UI change?

Also, will it work in portrait mode, I have never seen a tablet flipped vertically yet running Windows 8.

RE: Visual Studio?
By Florinator on 7/2/2012 5:25:20 PM , Rating: 2
No, it doesn't. It doesn't break anything, your programs will run just as well as they did before.

The Metro UI and the Desktop are two different worlds. All your old apps will run in the Desktop mode (Windows 7 look and feel) and new Metro UI apps (purposely developed as such) will run in the Metro UI mode. These two worlds don't really mix, they are completely separate, the API's for these different types of apps are very different.

I don't understand why people are so scared of Windows 8, it offers full backward compatibility with Windows 7 and adds something new on top (or on the side, if you will).

Even Windows 7 runs in portait mode on existing tablets, this is an old feature, it's been there for years. Get a Windows 7 tablet, flip it vertically and you'll see how the task bar rearranges itself on the bottom (or wherever you had it in landscape mode).

None of this is new... in fact, Microsoft invented the tablet PC in the first place (in 2002) ;-)

RE: Visual Studio?
By Ammohunt on 7/2/2012 5:31:44 PM , Rating: 2
Its not fear its just the lack of features which provide reasons to upgrade right now Metro is the primary reason to upgrade not good enough Microsoft; what ever happened to the new file system they were working on?

RE: Visual Studio?
By Etsp on 7/2/2012 5:55:17 PM , Rating: 2
As far as Visual Studio is concerned: No. Apps that used the UI elements from Windows 7 will work just fine on Windows 8, they just won't use the metro interface.

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