Microsoft blames error for Windows 8 price drop

March 6, 2013 | 11:08

Tags: #windows #windows-8 #windows-8-pro #windows-8-upgrade #windows-store

Companies: #microsoft #windows-blue

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.
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