Print 114 comment(s) - last by rdhood.. on Jul 10 at 11:00 AM

  (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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RE: Doesn't offer enough over Windows 7
By ET on 7/3/2012 3:43:04 AM , Rating: 2
Which is exactly the case for 8. People find it hard to look past the UI change, but underneath it's a similar upgrade to 7 to what 7 was to Vista.

Personally I'm put off by Metro, but that doesn't mean I can't see the advantages. I don't know if I'll buy it, since I'm just now planning to upgrade my desktop from Vista to 7, but I still think it's decent value for people who care about performance. Still, I can understand people who stick to what they know and are comfortable with. A lot of people stuck to XP for gaming even when Vista became faster.

RE: Doesn't offer enough over Windows 7
By Manch on 7/3/2012 4:40:54 AM , Rating: 2
The forcing of the UI/removing of the start button is what most people are taking issue with. Forcing you to switch to a UI you do not want in order to get the other upgrades is stupid. They pulled this with Vista and DX10. Rememebr the backlash because of that?

RE: Doesn't offer enough over Windows 7
By Spuke on 7/3/2012 12:36:22 PM , Rating: 2
You don't have to use the Metro UI. I don't understand why this is soooooo difficult to understand.

By Manch on 7/3/2012 1:01:17 PM , Rating: 2
you may not have to use the tiles and can go to the start screen but its more cumbersome than the start button. As I said in my first post, its a great interface for a mobile platforms, media PCs but, to me its a step backwards for a desktop. Why not let people keep the start button in addition to the metro UI. To me its like a playstation controller. It works great as it is. Tweak it, fine, add features, fine, but do not scrap it for something else. Youre throwing the baby out with the bathwater here

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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