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Microsoft confirms Windows 8 upgrade pricing, System Builder edition

Microsoft confirms Windows 8 upgrade pricing, System Builder edition

Microsoft's Windows 8 Pro will cost just $39.99 for a digital upgrade edition, but only when purchased before the end of January 2013.

Microsoft has confirmed initial pricing for upgrades to Windows 8, setting the bar at $39.99 or equivalent in local currency across 131 markets - making it the cheapest at-launch upgrade offer in years.

Starting at general availability and running through 31st January 2013, the time-limited upgrade offer is good for users on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7, and provides access to the full Windows 8 Pro package rather than the cut-down Windows 8 release. Even better, Windows Media Centre will be included as an optional but cost-free install even after the upgrade has taken place - but will be a paid-for add-on once the offer has expired.

The low-price upgrade offer will be available through the Windows.com website, with the operating system being downloaded for immediate installation or used to create a bootable USB or ISO install image. Those who prefer physical media can opt for an official backup DVD for $15, Microsoft has confirmed.

'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,' Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc claimed in a statement which handily overlooks the fact that upgrades from Windows XP won't migrate any programs or settings. '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.'

Although the digital distribution upgrade is remarkably cheap, the news isn't so good for those on slower connections or who otherwise prefer to shop in a bricks-and-mortar establishment: the boxed copy of Windows 8 Pro Upgrade will cost $69.99.

LeBlanc also announced that system builders - including end-users building PCs for personal use, as well as those doing so as a business - will qualify for Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro System Builder editions at a reduced price. This special semi-OEM edition will also be made available to those installing Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro on a dedicated partition of an existing machine for dual-boot purposes, or installing the software in a virtual machine environment. Pricing for the System Builder editions has not yet been confirmed.

46 Comments

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Elton 3rd July 2012, 11:39 Quote
That's not too bad in terms of prices. It's a shame though, because I'm not a big fan of windows 8's UI.
CDomville 3rd July 2012, 11:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elton
That's not too bad in terms of prices. It's a shame though, because I'm not a big fan of windows 8's UI.

Having used it since the DP in October, it's taken a while to grow on me, but I prefer it on my touch enabled laptop to Windows 7 (one of the TouchSmart 2nd gen devices). The only reason why I haven't switched it on my desktop is that there are some stability problems with my GPU drivers and one or two issues with my chipset/graphical freezes, but, in my opinion, an upgrade key at that price is worth it. ;)
CrapBag 3rd July 2012, 11:46 Quote
At that price I'm going to do my laptop but our four pc's are staying windows 7.
Elton 3rd July 2012, 11:52 Quote
I think windows 8 is made purely for tablets. It seems that way. Mind you the upgrade keys should be more than welcome.
Parge 3rd July 2012, 11:56 Quote
I know this is going to get me a load of hate mail but I’ll definitely upgrade if it goes on sale in the UK at ~£30.

As correctly asserted by the Microsoft engineers I have all my apps pinned to the taskbar and very rarely delve into the start menu anymore. Plus, I like the Win8 tiles system. Right now, apart from my efforts to integrate Rainmeter my desktop is very sparse indeed and needs filling up!
Elton 3rd July 2012, 11:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parge
I know this is going to get me a load of hate mail but I’ll definitely upgrade if it goes on sale in the UK at ~£30.

As correctly asserted by the Microsoft engineers I have all my apps pinned to the taskbar and very rarely delve into the start menu anymore. Plus, I like the Win8 tiles system. Right now, apart from my efforts to integrate Rainmeter my desktop is very sparse indeed and needs filling up!

Naah, if it works for you all the better. I'm still not adapting to it as well as I should. Or want to.
<A88> 3rd July 2012, 13:08 Quote
Have paid £50 each for the last two Windows upgrades so can't see any reason not to buy this as well; been running it on both systems since January anyway.
Dave Lister 3rd July 2012, 13:22 Quote
I read elsewhere that the cheap upgrade price runs out in January 2013. So I will probably leave upgrading from win7 until December, by then there should be plenty of feedback from early adopters.
Phil Rhodes 3rd July 2012, 14:28 Quote
Again what does it actually do?

In what way is it an "upgrade"? How is it better than Windows 7? How was that better than XP? How was that better than 2000? How was that better than 98?

Yes, there are technical changes under the hood, and you can argue to an extent that they're better because of those (the GPU compositor in Vista and going to NT kernel in 2000 were both long overdue, for instance). At the end of the day, though, the user experience of windows hasn't changed in 17 years, and for the entirely circular reason that people buy windows to get that user experience. Obviously the whole tablet UI thing is worthless and will be immediately switched off by most people (it's also a trivial piece of programming which could have been made available as an alternate shell for anyone who wanted it).

So again, what features does this upgrade actually offer?
Bauul 3rd July 2012, 14:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Again what does it actually do?

Precisely the same thing every GUI OS has done since they were invented 30 years ago, just in a nicer way. What else were you expecting? You know precisely what Win8 offers, you're just being deliberately contentious.

Enough with such pointless posts, I object to them using up my bandwidth.
Shirty 3rd July 2012, 14:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
So again, what features does this upgrade actually offer?

If you can't find something in here that floats your boat, then it will do very little for you.

[Captain Patronising Analogy]It's much like "upgrading" from a Mk1 ford Focus to a Mk2 - they both do basically the same thing, but one is rounder and newer looking than the other.[/Captain Patronising Analogy]

I'll be doing what I always do. Wait six months after release, appraise the various comments, reviews, tweaks and tips, then buy the Family pack for three licenses, splitting the cost with my old folks. Tweak and profit £££.

;)
The_Beast 3rd July 2012, 15:12 Quote
Meh, I don't have a tablets so I doubt I'll be getting W8. I don't even thing my laptop is worth "upgrading"
MikeO 3rd July 2012, 15:31 Quote
Having just bought a new PC with Windows 7 Professional, I'll definitely be upgrading for just £14.99. However, metro will get disabled straight away. I'm only after the kernel improvements.
The Monk 3rd July 2012, 15:31 Quote
Is there a way to turn off the tablet interface? I would only be using this on a desktop without a touch screen so would prefer a more traditional interface.
If it is only going to cost ~£30 to upgrade I would be very tempted
Gareth Halfacree 3rd July 2012, 15:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lister
I read elsewhere that the cheap upgrade price runs out in January 2013. So I will probably leave upgrading from win7 until December, by then there should be plenty of feedback from early adopters.
Are you sure you didn't read it here, because that little fact is definitely in the article. :p
MikeO 3rd July 2012, 15:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monk
Is there a way to turn off the tablet interface? I would only be using this on a desktop without a touch screen so would prefer a more traditional interface.
If it is only going to cost ~£30 to upgrade I would be very tempted

You mean the Metro UI? Yeah, it can disabled through the registry leaving you with the normal desktop + start menu.
PCBuilderSven 3rd July 2012, 16:00 Quote
At £30 I'll definitely be upgrading my tablet, but I don't really sea the point of upgrading my laptop and desktop.
NigelT 3rd July 2012, 16:13 Quote
I'll be upgrading my PC, Laptop & media centre. Purely to make sure I can run latest software and be certain of getting driver support for newer purchases. It shall never be this price again.
Tattysnuc 3rd July 2012, 16:50 Quote
Looks like a good way to get me onto the same platform for all my home equipment. Hope the price doesn't vary too much i.e. is not >£39.99 because otherwise the answer is no, I'll stick to Win 7 and Vista.
bagman 3rd July 2012, 16:56 Quote
I am surprised at the release date. Though it would be in august to cash in on the students. Or at least before Christmas.
Dave Lister 3rd July 2012, 17:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lister
I read elsewhere that the cheap upgrade price runs out in January 2013. So I will probably leave upgrading from win7 until December, by then there should be plenty of feedback from early adopters.
Are you sure you didn't read it here, because that little fact is definitely in the article. :p

lol, yeah I re-read the article and it says precisely what I was on about (right at the top!). My sincerest apologies Mr H.
Dave Lister 3rd July 2012, 17:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bagman
I am surprised at the release date. Though it would be in august to cash in on the students. Or at least before Christmas.

The 31st of Jan' is when the cheap upgrade price ends. Expect it before that.
billysielu 3rd July 2012, 18:01 Quote
MS would be better off making a good OS and charging full price.
fdbh96 3rd July 2012, 18:29 Quote
Probably get this if there will ever be able to get it to dual boot with ios (hopeful I know :D)
Jehla 3rd July 2012, 19:46 Quote
Shame it's not as cheap as the pre orders for windows 7. I wounder if they wouldn't be better off dropping the price of windows permanently, there can't be that many people paying full whack for a licence.

Also, I'm slightly ashamed of the amount of trollish anti start screen/metro comments on this site. Are people no longer able to express their grievance in anything more than a snide one liner?
azrael- 3rd July 2012, 20:30 Quote
Pricing it this low seems to indicate some lack of confidence in Windows 8 on Microsoft's behalf. As it rightly should have, given the blight that is the Metro UX.
Elton 3rd July 2012, 21:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jehla
Shame it's not as cheap as the pre orders for windows 7. I wounder if they wouldn't be better off dropping the price of windows permanently, there can't be that many people paying full whack for a licence.

Also, I'm slightly ashamed of the amount of trollish anti start screen/metro comments on this site. Are people no longer able to express their grievance in anything more than a snide one liner?

Well to be fair, the Metro UI doesn't seem very streamlined. It's actually faster and more aesthetically pleasing if you're used to it, but we're too loyal to the start menu.

With that said, I happen to not care for how things are organized although I will admit that metro isn't all bad. I just happen to not care for a tablet like interface.
Nexxo 3rd July 2012, 21:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by azrael-
Pricing it this low seems to indicate some lack of confidence in Windows 8 on Microsoft's behalf. As it rightly should have, given the blight that is the Metro UX.

That one way of looking at it. I see it as an aggressive marketing strategy to establish a dominant OS ecosystem, much like Google is selling their Nexus 7 at cost price. Windows Metro is the future.
Jehla 3rd July 2012, 21:10 Quote
[QUOTE=Elton]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jehla


Well to be fair, the Metro UI doesn't seem very streamlined. It's actually faster and more aesthetically pleasing if you're used to it, but we're too loyal to the start menu.

With that said, I happen to not care for how things are organized although I will admit that metro isn't all bad. I just happen to not care for a tablet like interface.

Please don't think I'm against people who don't like Metro, I just can't stand people not articulating their issue and instead making unhelpful and trollish comments.

Case in point:
Quote:
Originally Posted by azrael-
Pricing it this low seems to indicate some lack of confidence in Windows 8 on Microsoft's behalf. As it rightly should have, given the blight that is the Metro UX.

This chap has shown a lack of understanding on the subject matter, and has assumed this discount which is a sign of a lack of confidence in windows 8. If he had read previous comments or knew what he was talking about, he would know this upgrade version is more expensive that the first batch of windows 7 pre order offers.
azrael- 3rd July 2012, 21:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
That one way of looking at it. I see it as an aggressive marketing strategy to establish a dominant OS ecosystem, much like Google is selling their Nexus 7 at cost price. Windows Metro is the future.
If you think Metro is the future you haven't quite kept tabs on Microsoft these last years. Metro is the future right now. Just as .NET was and several other things Microsoft claimed were the future. I'm fairly certain Windows 8 will tank on anything but smartphones and tablets. They will _not_ be able to sell this version of Windows in the enterprise market. Unless Metro is made optional Windows 7 will be the last version of Windows they will sell to companies. Although I do concede that it will be forced upon millions of defenseless buyers of new PCs in the consumer market.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jehla
<SNIP>
This chap has shown a lack of understanding on the subject matter, and has assumed this discount which is a sign of a lack of confidence in windows 8. If he had read previous comments or knew what he was talking about, he would know this upgrade version is more expensive that the first batch of windows 7 pre order offers.
Considering I bought a Windows 7 Professional license back when it was discounted on pre-order (and even more discounted because the 'N' version was looming) I believe I have a pretty good idea of what I'm talking about. I certainly don't recall Windows 7 Pro Upgrade costing $39.99 back then, even though this is for a digital download version.

For the record, I've been using Windows 8 on and off since the Developer Preview, so it's not like I have an uninformed opinion. I just don't blindly accept Microsoft's claim that Metro is perfect for both the mobile and the desktop environment unlike some others do. Truth be told, I _like_ the interface for mobile devices and I would happily buy a Windows Phone 8 smartphone.
Nexxo 3rd July 2012, 22:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by azrael-
If you think Metro is the future you haven't quite kept tabs on Microsoft these last years. Metro is the future right now. Just as .NET was and several other things Microsoft claimed were the future. I'm fairly certain Windows 8 will tank on anything but smartphones and tablets. They will _not_ be able to sell this version of Windows in the enterprise market. Unless Metro is made optional Windows 7 will be the last version of Windows they will sell to companies. Although I do concede that it will be forced upon millions of defenseless buyers of new PCs in the consumer market.
Lessee. I predicted the meteoric success of the iPad when it first came out and people went: "Dafuq?" and "It's not a real computer, it's going to fail". I also predicted that the Courier wouldn't make it to production and the HP Slate wouldn't either, and why. I think I've got a handle on this one. :)

For enterprise it's ideal. We're talking about staff who don't know how to start Word if the icon is not on the desktop and there is no Word document to click (true: this was an admin with years of working on a PC under her belt). Metro allows the IT dept. to set up a simple Start screen with just the applications that they want staff to be able to access and nothing else. No Windows explorer to get lost in; no Start Menu with layers of cascading directories to root through. To them it will be bloody perfect.
GoodBytes 4th July 2012, 00:24 Quote
Business will still not adopt Windows 8. Already Windows 7 still has a VERY hard time to penetrate. The ONLY reason why Windows 7 is used, is because XP doesn't run properly on modern hardware, and causes stability issues, and driver support is crappy at best. So they have no choice.

Even if Windows 8 didn't have Metro and all that, business will still not adopt it. I think Microsoft knows this, that is why they focused more on Home users for this version. Of course, they will try and push it to businesses. It will be silly not too do that. But I think deep down Microsoft knows it.

Also, EVEN if business would be interesting in getting Windows 8, as an absolute must, they will STILL wait for SP1.

You know the famous silly list that people make with all odd or even numbers of OS is "bad", and the other one is "good"... well if you replace (except for Windows Me), "bad" with "designed for lay people (average Joe)", then it applies equally well. As for XP, when it came out, every computer enthusiasts, IT's, etc.. HATED with aption XP. The only reason why people like it now, is because after 6 years people got used to it.
If you go back to XP now, you will notice:
-> Bugs everywhere, in your face even. Like the tool-tip on the task bar showing behind the task bar when you roll over an icon.
-> Windows view settings can be corrupted over time and at that point it doesn't remember what you pick
-> Prefetch never really worked
-> Firewall blocks programs and warns you well after you already ran it after a few times, on some occasions.
-> Running a program as "Run As" saves the settings on either the current account only or the elevated account, depending on the program or setting panel you used
-> It looked like a fisher price toy
-> Poor memory management for any system with over 512MB of RAM
-> Poor security
-> Too many BSOD's
-> Activation system (this was new)
-> Update system is IE only, and annoying to use, and anything can break it.

and many many many more issues that should not be there as they are really "in your face" ones. And the above list, is just the "in your face' bugs AFTER SP2. So imagine before.

Anyway, that's my view on the hole thing.
pbryanw 4th July 2012, 00:43 Quote
@Goodbytes - Actually at the time, I thought XP was a great OS. You have to remember that back in 2001 we were going from Windows 98 which (for me) frequently crashed, to a more stable NT based OS. While its looks can now best be described as fisher price, back then - it looked fresh in comparison to the boxy, greyness of 98. Can't remember too many BSOD's either - Windows 95 & 98 were the leaders in this respect.

I agree though that Windows XP looks tired now compared to Windows 7, but it took until now for most people to upgrade, as Vista had a (undeserved) poor reputation. I think you're putting too much emphasis on Service Packs too. XP was the exception when it came to feature adding Packs and now, we have much more rigorous public betas. Going back in time to XP again, I remember having to download leaked betas from dodgy FTP sites to test it out. Anyway, that's enough nostalgia from me for today.

I'll be upgrading to 8, as I'm one of those users (Microsoft have identified) who pin everything to the Taskbar and seldom use the Start Menu. In fact, I'm looking forward to having space to pin one more program to the taskbar when I start using 8 :)
ClunkingFist 4th July 2012, 04:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parge
I know this is going to get me a load of hate mail but I’ll definitely upgrade if it goes on sale in the UK at ~£30.

As correctly asserted by the Microsoft engineers I have all my apps pinned to the taskbar and very rarely delve into the start menu anymore.

£30 is a small price to pay to buy (potentially) 3 years more support for your PC's operating system, even if it means an upgrade. Once support is withdrawn for XP, there will be a few folk wishing they'd bothered to shell out such a (IMO) small amount...
steveo_mcg 4th July 2012, 09:19 Quote
Yeah I think thats where I'm at, windows is only a place to launch Steam, Firefox and Lightroom, XP works fine for me but with support to be withdrawn its probably a good time to future proof for another half decade. Metro will be fine really I never use the start menu all the applications I use have shortcuts in the quick launch bar. Windows UI is irrelevant its just a launcher.
Jehla 4th July 2012, 17:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by azrael-

Considering I bought a Windows 7 Professional license back when it was discounted on pre-order (and even more discounted because the 'N' version was looming) I believe I have a pretty good idea of what I'm talking about. I certainly don't recall Windows 7 Pro Upgrade costing $39.99 back then, even though this is for a digital download version.

For the record, I've been using Windows 8 on and off since the Developer Preview, so it's not like I have an uninformed opinion. I just don't blindly accept Microsoft's claim that Metro is perfect for both the mobile and the desktop environment unlike some others do. Truth be told, I _like_ the interface for mobile devices and I would happily buy a Windows Phone 8 smartphone.

I stand corrected, though I think your hard pushed to try and suggest that the prices are not about equivalent to win7 considering there is no home version on this upgrade offer.
Lucky I don't blindly accept Microsoft's claims either, I do how ever find the start screen far superior to the start menu, untill you want to turn your PC off of course.
Zoon 4th July 2012, 17:28 Quote
At work we "have" to use the latest and greatest Microsoft OS due to the licensing agreements we have.

If we get a Windows 8 upgrade forced on us, I'll be switching to Ubuntu instead. No license fees at all.
azrael- 4th July 2012, 20:40 Quote
Windows 8 and Metro UX always makes me think of this and not in a good way. Incidentally, that video was quite hard to track down. :)
eps_1gXmhE4
Chicken76 5th July 2012, 12:44 Quote
Gareth, are there any details on the cost of running Win8 in a virtualized environment? At the moment the restrictions and fees for any version of desktop Windows up to Win7 are simply appalling.
Gareth Halfacree 5th July 2012, 13:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicken76
Gareth, are there any details on the cost of running Win8 in a virtualized environment? At the moment the restrictions and fees for any version of desktop Windows up to Win7 are simply appalling.
Nothing firm: Microsoft has stated that those looking to set up a Win8 VM will qualify for the discounted System Builder edition, but hasn't given pricing.
ajfsound 5th July 2012, 14:07 Quote
The OEM upgrade path sounds interesting, I wonder whether the licencing system will be smart enough to detect the hardware that your OEM is registered against...or whether you could get away with a cheeky upgrade before installing the new OS!
thelaw 5th July 2012, 14:13 Quote
I too are waiting till others have tried/tested it, i remember the issues with both applications and games going from XP to win 7, it took the best part of a year for alot of app/game developers to come up with patches/new software to make them compatiable on win 7.
HourBeforeDawn 7th July 2012, 03:44 Quote
I may do this so I can have a cheap OS when I decide to move to it, probably use it for my HTPC but as my main rig no thank you.
Star*Dagger 7th July 2012, 20:42 Quote
If you are using XP you should be charged 1000€ and a kick in the nuts, but get a free t-shirt that says "I'm an idiot!"
DC74 9th July 2012, 01:28 Quote
I'm not a fan of Windows 8, I don't fancy this point and click on massive tiles interface which is clearly meant for idiots or console users. I'll stick with windows 7 it's not broke so don't fix it unless your making a major update for gamers and those that use their PC's as more than a media station.
GoodBytes 9th July 2012, 01:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC74
I'm not a fan of Windows 8, I don't fancy this point and click on massive tiles interface which is clearly meant for idiots or console users. I'll stick with windows 7 it's not broke so don't fix it unless your making a major update for gamers and those that use their PC's as more than a media station.

windows 8 has a lot of feature that interest power users. People should stop looking at only the start screen. Which personally I think it's great. Check out this post, from dullonien on this forum:
http://forums.bit-tech.net/showpost.php?p=3104989&postcount=607

Windows 8 provides:
-> Ability to pause and add transfer /move actions
-> Ability to automatically change between wireless and wired network, And when on wireless it will pick the normal wireless over 3G/LTE /4G when a wireless is detected to not consume your bandwidth. Everything is automatic
-> Ability to know how much you downloaded and uploaded on your wireless network (including cellphone communication network (3G/LTE/4G, etc.)
-> More power efficient (I have 1h more of battery life on my laptop over Win7 64-bit)
-> More performant , as early benchmark of Win8 shows
-> Can view all sorts of information at the start screen
-> New task manager
-> support for newer technology such as TRIM on RAID setup, and USB 3.0.
-> and of course all the new features that was talk about on this thread which is long.
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