Microsoft announced a promotion that later this year will let users of Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 PCs upgrade to the new Windows 8 Pro for $39.99.
Analyst Stephen Baker of the NPD Group acknowledged that price signaled Microsoft’s seriousness about getting as many people as possible to adopt the new operating system.
The deal starts off when Microsoft launches Windows 8 later this year, and offers the most advanced retail version of the new OS, Windows 8 Pro, as the upgrade.
The $39.99 fee is for a download of the Windows 8 Pro upgrade. Microsoft will also sell a DVD in a box at retail for $69.99. The download price is $10 less than Microsoft charged for a Windows 7 upgrade three years ago. Then, the company ran a two-week pre-sale for $50 upgrades to Windows 7 Home Premium, a 58% discount, and for $100 upgrades to Windows 7 Professional.
Earlier, Microsoft announced that it would sell a $14.99 upgrade to Windows 8 Pro to buyers of new PCs equipped with the still-current Windows 7. That deal, like today’s, is good through Jan. 31, 2013.
Although the new offer is open to customers with PCs powered by XP, Vista or Windows 7, the upgrade is most thorough from Windows 7, according to Microsoft.
Microsoft has yet to divulge the release date for Windows 8 or the regular prices of either Windows 8 Pro or the lower-cost Windows 8. Most analysts expect the company to debut its newest Windows for Intel- and AMD-powered desktops, notebooks and other devices this fall. If the company makes its Release To Manufacturing or RTM later this month, it could launch the OS in October.
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