Microsoft is offering users running Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 an offer to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $39.99.
Microsoft officials shared details about the latest promotion on July 2 on the Windows Team blog.
That’s substantially cheaper than Microsoft traditionally charges for “upgrade” versions of Windows. With Windows 7, Microsoft charged users roughly $119 to $219 (estimated retail prices) to upgrde from comparable versions of Vista to 7.
Users of Windows XP, Windows 7, or Windows Vista will be able to purchase and download Windows 8 Pro for just $39.99, a Microsoft spokesman said. “We set out to make it as easy as possible for everyone to upgrade to Windows 8,” said the spokesman.
The coming offer, available through Windows.com, is good in 131 markets, according to 2nd July’s blog post. Windows Media Center can be added for free to this bundle through the “add features” option after the upgrade. (Microsoft officials have said previously that Windows Media Center would be a low-priced add on to Windows 8 Pro.)
Those purchasing the Windows 8 Pro upgrade through Windows.com also will have the option of purchasing a backup DVD for $15 plus shipping and handling. Those preferring to buy from a local store will be able to purchase a packaged DVD version of the upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $69.99 during this promotion period.
This upgrade promotion for Windows 8 Pro both online and at retail runs through January 31, 2013. It commences as of the general availability of Windows 8, confirmed a tweet from a Microsoft public relations rep.
Microsoft officials announced recently another Windows 8 upgrade promotion — the $14.99 Windows 8 Upgrade offer available to those purchasing new Windows 7 PCs between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013.
Microsoft’s push to get users onto Windows 8 isn’t surprising. The OS represents the biggest break with previous versions since the debut of Windows 95, which introduced the Start button, Task Bar, and other Windows staples. Windows 8 replaces the Start screen with Live Tiles, part of Microsoft’s new Metro interface. Microsoft is counting on Metro to give its products a consistent look and feel across smartphones, tablets, and PCs.
Microsoft officials have not said publicly when Windows 8, in its four or so various flavors, will be generally available. The latest rumored release-to-manufacturing dates for Windows 8 are now centering around July 2012, with the rumored general-availability date expected by many to be in October 2012.