Microsoft has just announced its initial upgrade pricing for Windows 8, and it’s sure to turn some heads. For $39.99, you’ll be able to download the upgrade regardless of whether you’re using Windows XP, Vista or 7. That’s right – if you have an aging XP box you want to update, you’ll be able to do so for a mere $39.99. It’s important to note that this promotional pricing is set to end January 31, 2013.
There are a couple of things to bear in mind. “Upgrade” does in fact mean upgrade – you won’t be able to purchase a full retail version for $39.99 (though it wouldn’t surprise us to see special pricing at launch there also). Because this upgrade won’t be delivered as a retail copy, no packaging is involved, and thus, no install media. While you’ll have the option to install in place, you’ll also be able to create a bootable DVD or thumb drive.
Once the purchase is made, Microsoft will have you run the “Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant”, which scans your PC and tells you which programs may have compatibility issues after the upgrade. Because I always believe a clean PC is the best PC, I’d recommend formatting first (after backing up all of your data, of course), then installing your previous OS, and -then- the upgrade (unless the upgrade key happens to work for the full retail install as well).
Those wanting to purchase the media in-store will have to shell over $69.99. I think it’s safe to say that most will opt for the download option. As we near the launch of Windows 8, we’ll remind you of this deal to avoid you missing out, though we’d have to imagine this is a deal that won’t be much of a secret.