Microsoft's Windows 8 Upgrade will be available for anyone running Windows XP or newer at £24.99 - a £5 saving over the US pricing.
Microsoft has confirmed that the upgrade edition of Windows 8 will cost just £24.99 in the UK, after an originally-claimed launch price of £39.99 was blamed on a miscommunication.
Microsoft's original announcement held only US pricing, stating that the upgrade edition - which takes anything from Windows XP or higher to Windows 8 - would cost $39.99 on that side of the pond. When asked by press how much that translated to in the Queen's own currency, the answer was staggering: £39.99.
Even allowing for VAT, which is applied to software purchases in the UK, that represented a rum deal: at the current exchange rate and adjusting for VAT, $39.99 is equal to £30.31 - meaning Microsoft would have been pocketing an additional £9.68 for every copy of the upgrade edition sold.
Following a massive - and entirely predictable - slating by the media, Microsoft has issued a statement clarifying matters and claiming that the originally-claimed swap-the-dollar-sign-for-a-pound-sign pricing was nothing more than an embarrassing miscommunication between departments.
Rather than the claimed £40, the official price for the upgrade edition will be a much more reasonable £24.99 - meaning that UK buyers are actually saving around £5 compared to those purchasing the upgrade in the US. Those who prefer physical media for their software purchases, however, will have to stump out £49.99 for a boxed copy, with the £24.99 pricing applying only to the digital distribution edition.
The upgrade deal is not time-limited, applies to all systems running Windows XP or newer and is separate to the previously-announced £14.99 upgrade for new Windows 7-based PCs bought between now and the launch of Windows 8.