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Microsoft blames error for Windows 8 price drop

Microsoft blames error for Windows 8 price drop

A sudden drop in price of the Windows 8 Pro upgrade to just £45 has been reversed, with Microsoft blaming a 'system error' but promising to honour orders.

Microsoft has blamed a 'system error' for a short-lived deal that saw buyers keen to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro receive the software for just £44.99 earlier this week, before bumping the price back up to its regular £189.99.

The sudden shift in pricing led to the upgrade edition of Windows 8 Pro being less than half the price of the standard Windows 8 upgrade, a curious state of affairs that has led to Microsoft's PR department working overtime answering queries from news outlets eager to see if things are really that desperate for the new operating system and its divisive tile-based user interface.

In short: no. Microsoft claims that the drop in price to £44.99 for Windows 8 Pro Upgrade was an error, and one it has been quick to rectify. 'Due to an error in our system, Windows 8 Pro was available on the Microsoft Online Store in the UK at a price that was advertised lower than our regular Microsoft Store price,' a Microsoft spokesperson explained of the glitch. 'This pricing error has been corrected.'

While Microsoft is kindly honouring the orders of those who were quick enough to pick up the software at its bargain-basement £44.99 price, anyone trying to pick the software up now will find it back to its normal £189.99 price - a significant jump from the £25 upgrade offer Microsoft had been running to the end of January.

The pricing glitch comes as industry sources point to a slow uptake for Microsoft's brand-new operating system. Most recently, Asus chief executive Jerry Shen has gone on record as stating that 'the acceptance of [our machines running] Windows 8 in Q4 is not so good,' albeit with the caveat that sales of touch-screen enabled Windows 8 laptops are doing better than expected. This comes hot on the heels of a comment from HP executive vice president Todd Bradley that Windows 8 has 'experienced a slower start than many people expected.'

With Microsoft failing to set the world on fire at its post-launch discount prices, it's hard to see the £190 upgrade fee tempting many to Windows 8 Pro from earlier releases, meaning much is pinning on the success of Windows Blue, the company's next-generation update expected to launch in August as a free download for all Windows 8 users.

23 Comments

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Confused Fishcake 6th March 2013, 11:35 Quote
The early upgrade offer was too good compared to regular pricing - I got several win8 pro upgrades for 15 pounds or so each, for the 5 pcs in my family (some without even valid win7 licences), and I was happy to pay that. It was actually the first time I've paid for windows (used pre-installed, or linux). Now I want another copy to run in a virtual machine, and I'm expected to pay 190?!? Not going to happen.
Snips 6th March 2013, 12:12 Quote
Yeah I think most wanting to upgrade did so when the offer was about. I'm sure we will see more offers in the future if it's such the disaster some are saying.
Guinevere 6th March 2013, 12:25 Quote
LOL. So MS believe a fair price for an OS upgrade is either £25 or £190. They really don't have a clue!
Corky42 6th March 2013, 12:29 Quote
bargain-basement £44.99 price for Windows 8 Pro Upgrade

Not for me, maybe if they gave me a free windows tablet with 8 installed i would go for it.
But even if they payed me i wouldn't use it on a desktop.
Snips 6th March 2013, 12:55 Quote
I'm sure they'll be devastated and shipping one over to you now.
ChromeX 6th March 2013, 12:58 Quote
Still wouldn't have bought it for £45 to be honest. Good that they're honoring the purchases though!
r3loaded 6th March 2013, 13:17 Quote
45 quid was a great price tbh. And while I actually like Windows 8, there's no way I'd ever pay 190 for it. Operating systems just don't have that much value nowadays in and of themselves. For that much money, you can get a Nexus 7 that includes the necessary OS with it for free!!
Griffter 6th March 2013, 13:22 Quote
lol
Pookie 6th March 2013, 13:53 Quote
Shame really, I kind of regretted not upgrading my main PC when the £25 offer was available. I held off because I upgraded 2 other machines instead.
Corky42 6th March 2013, 14:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
I'm sure they'll be devastated and shipping one over to you now.

Damn right ;)
Anyone want to buy my free tablet ?
The Bodger 6th March 2013, 15:38 Quote
I'm confused; when I checked 10 minutes ago CCL Computers were selling Win8 Pro 32 / 64 bit Upgrade discs for only £49; am I missing something?
flibblesan 6th March 2013, 17:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bodger
I'm confused; when I checked 10 minutes ago CCL Computers were selling Win8 Pro 32 / 64 bit Upgrade discs for only £49; am I missing something?

Several retailers are still selling Windows 8 at £49 probably because they bought the stock when it was cheap.
leexgx 6th March 2013, 21:08 Quote
I should buy an copy I guess for later on (just I have no plans on using windows 8 at all) as I only going to be using the desktop not metro so see no reason to use windows 8 if all I am going to do is install startisback to restore the missing function

windows 8 probably the first os I have ever skipped (excluding ME)
Bogomip 6th March 2013, 21:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
LOL. So MS believe a fair price for an OS upgrade is either £25 or £190. They really don't have a clue!

Their millions and billions of monies begs to differ with you on that one! ;)
SexyHyde 7th March 2013, 01:07 Quote
General public blames Windows 8 for not purchasing Windows 8.

Got to agree £190 is quite frankly ludacris. Especially when you think of the hardware you can get for that. 8core AMD / Top 250GB SSD / 1KW+ psu / Mid-high GFX card / Premium Mobo. My nexus 4 was £50 more.

The fact that there are plenty of the pre deal priced copies floating around doesn't look good.
Nexxo 7th March 2013, 11:16 Quote
Your Nexus 4 was heavily subsidised. A decent smartphone costs about £300,-- to produce, £600,-- on the open market.

I think that y'all seriously underestimate what it costs to develop an OS that is reliable enough to be able to run mission-critical systems.
jrs77 7th March 2013, 11:30 Quote
A full version of MacOS X is available for $20 in the App-Store and in the near future you'll have the option of getting a USB-stick for $60.
Ubuntu costs nothing as a download, and some $10 for a DVD in the Canonical store.

That's how much a modern OS is worth it. And Windows sure is totally overpriced.
Nexxo 7th March 2013, 13:32 Quote
None of those OS' run mission-critical systems: ATM's, bank computers, hospital computers. Applications that can't crash or develop errors because they're kind of important (although real life-or-death stuff runs on very proprietary OS' that are none of the above). Moreover unlike OSX Windows has to run on any of the millions of weird and wonderful PC configurations out there, and has to set itself up with minimal user assistance because unlike, say, Linux users, most Windows users are muggles.

Another note: Linux costs nothing because of the generosity of thousands of programmers. That does not make it, or indeed any other OS, worthless. Linux is worth paying for, and some time in the future, you will have to.
jrs77 7th March 2013, 14:11 Quote
Yes, Windows has to cope with tons of different configurations, but so does Ubuntu. For the bigger part Ubuntu runs out of the box without any problems on most systems, just like Windows.

If anything, then Microsoft should heavily lower the price of Windows and demand extra payment for service/assistance ontop of that. This way endconsumers could get the OS for little money, and those who need could purchase an additional service-plan.
It's the better business-model imho instead of forcing everyone to pay these high prices to begin with.
Nexxo 7th March 2013, 14:18 Quote
My impression is that Ubuntu runs a lot less smoothly "out of the box" than Windows does.

I agree that it makes more sense to split the cost of the OS and of the service/assistance. However with Windows muggles get a package deal, and muggles like uncomplicated package deals.
jrs77 7th March 2013, 14:48 Quote
Hmm... Can't complain about Ubuntu since 10.xx. On everyone of my rigs since then I simply installed and didn't run into any troubles with hardware-compatibility out of the box. Even XBMCbuntu was a very smooth experience on the two HTPCs I setup using this package.

Imho Microsoft only demands these high prices for Windows, as they basically have a monopoly when it comes to PCs, as it's the only OS that people can use to play games on.
Gareth Halfacree 7th March 2013, 15:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
A full version of MacOS X is available for $20 in the App-Store and in the near future you'll have the option of getting a USB-stick for $60.
Until I can install OS X on *any* hardware *without* breaching the terms and conditions of sale, that's disingenuous. Apple charges such a small amount for its OS because it has made such a dramatic profit when it sold you the hardware; Microsoft cannot say the same for Windows.

(And yes, Ubuntu is even cheaper - but that's a FLOSS versus proprietary argument, not a Windows versus everything else argument.)
SirFur 7th March 2013, 15:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77

Imho Microsoft only demands these high prices for Windows, as they basically have a monopoly when it comes to PCs, as it's the only OS that people can use to play games on.

Precisely why I will never use Linux or Mac OS.

Besides I have Win 7 ultimate I got ages ago for very good upgrade price at £40 odd. Win 7 is the new Win XP and I have absolutely no need to upgrade any time soon whatsoever. Win 7 is better than Win 8 anyway so why would you wanna upgrade....(unless ofc you wanted to utilise the touchscreen stuff).
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