In order to keep PC sales from falling off in the months before Microsoft is poised to roll out new models running a new version of Windows, it always has offered an upgrade program. Via these programs, customers who buy PCs running the current version of Windows (in the present case, Windows 7) get “coupons” allowing them to get a free version of the next OS release.
According to reports, Microsoft will make the expected “Windows 8 Offer” available to consumers buying a Windows 7 PC running Home Basic or higher, allowing them to obtain Windows 8 Pro or Windows 8 when they are available. The Windows 8 Pro SKU is for tech enthusiasts and business/technical professionals, and includes encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity, as well as support for a separately priced Media Pack for Windows Media Center.
Seemingly because the offer is for the more feature-rich Pro SKU, rather than the entry-level Windows 8 (consumer) one, the offer won’t be “free.” There will be some fee attached to the coupon.
The upgrade offer will start on or around June 2, 2012 — right around the time Microsoft delivers the Release Preview (Release Candidate) of Windows 8 — and last through January, 2013.