Microsoft today announced that DVD copies of the Windows 8 Pro upgrade are now available for pre-order at select retailers. The operating system upgrade will cost customers $70, and customers running Windows XP Service Pack 3, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 will be able to upgrade.
Windows 8 is now available for pre-order at Amazon, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, and other retailers (though you might want to be wary of pre-ordering from Best Buy). However, customers who have the virtue of patience can wait until release day on October 26 to buy the upgrade through Windows.com using the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant. The downloaded version of Windows 8 Pro will only cost $40.
Microsoft, over on The Windows Blog was quick to point out the "fresh approach" the company was taking with the box art for the OS. Five different versions of the packaging are available, all with "vibrant" abstract illustrations. The company also bragged that it has changed its packaging to "paper based materials," meaning the box is more environmentally-friendly and 41% lighter.
In addition to the operating system, Microsoft's Windows 8 partners have been given the green light to put their own products up for pre-order. Tablets, hybrid computers, and laptops from HP, Samsung, and others have just poured into online stores.
Oddly enough, Microsoft's own hybrid tablet, the Surface, is not yet available for pre-order. Rumors currently hold that Windows 8 smartphones will be available for pre-order starting October 21.
Click on the photos below to check out some of the new packaging designs for Windows 8: