I never upgrade to the newest version of Windows until I get a new computer. There’s a reason for that. I don’t feel like spending $120 on the newest version of Windows unless I’m going to get some hardware with it. Microsoft has never really made it cost effective to upgrade to the next version of Windows until now.
In a really bold, un-Microsoft-like move, the company announced today that all Windows installs from XP onwards will be eligible to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for only $39.99 when the OS launches later this year. Even better, this deal is available in 131 markets. Also, you may recall how Microsoft was making Windows Media Center a paid add-on in Windows 8 – it’s totally free if you upgrade from a previous version.
So, how will this magically cheap upgrade work? Microsoft has prepared the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant to help users prepare their computer for the onslaught that is Windows 8. First, it will make sure that your PC is capable of running Windows 8. You don’t want to spend $40 and then realize that you can’t even run the OS, right?
In even better news, the Upgrade Assistant will go through all of your drivers and applications telling you which ones are incompatible with your current set-up. It will also set up a page where you can choose to keep settings, applications and files from your current installation of Windows. Unfortunately, those upgrading from Windows XP will only be able to transfer personal files as system settings are apparently not cross compatible.
The Upgrade Assistant then goes to work downloading Windows 8 to your macine after purchase. After it finishes, you can jump the gun and start installing it. If you were smart, you wil instead choose to create a backup on DVD for upgrade purposes.
This crazy promotion that will undoubtedly drive people to buy Windows 8 will be available in over 100 countries and 37 languages. If you prefer to own a physical copy of Windows 8 Pro, it will be available at retail for $69.99. Both the digital and retail promotion end on January 31, 2013.
As far as I’m concerned, this is the craziest move Microsoft has ever made in regards to Windows. I don’t know if they’re scared about adoption so they’re lowering the price or they’re just that confident. I’m probably going to snag a copy for my laptop and keep running Windows 7 on my desktop. What about you guys?