Feeds

Microsoft to end Windows 8 discounts on January 31

Here's what it will really cost

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Say what you will about Windows 8; at least the upgrade from Windows 7 is cheap. Or it is for now. After January 31 will be a different story.

Ever since Windows 8's October 26, 2012 launch, Microsoft has been offering retail Windows 8 Pro upgrade DVDs for $69.99. Online upgrades have been even cheaper, at $39.99. And customers who bought new PCs or laptops with Windows 7 preloaded got the best deal of all: If they registered with Microsoft, the online Windows 8 upgrade cost them just $14.99.

Microsoft always said these rates were temporary, but lots of pundits didn't believe it. Why would Redmond raise its prices, they argued, given how tepid customer reaction to the new OS has been?

Well, put such notions aside. In a blog post on Friday, Microsoft confirmed that when it said its discounted Windows 8 upgrade pricing was for a limited time only, it really meant it.

As previously announced, all of the above prices end on January 31. Starting in February, all editions of Windows 8 will sell for their full list prices, which means the cheapest Windows 8 upgrade will go for $119.99.

Note, however, that unlike the discounted upgrades offered previously, that price just gets you Windows 8, not Windows 8 Pro. If you want the additional Pro features – including BitLocker encryption, domain connectivity, and Hyper-V virtualization, among others – you'll need to shell out a little more for the Pro upgrade edition, priced at $199.99.

If you already have Windows 8 and you want to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, the Pro Pack upgrade will cost you $69.99 through January 31. After that, the price goes up to $99.99.

These list prices are similar to what Microsoft charged to upgrade to Windows 7 from Windows Vista or earlier, but they're still high in today's computing market. The last upgrade for Apple's OS X – currently the only other mainstream desktop OS – cost just $20, and you can upgrade most desktop Linux systems for free.

Still, many customers won't actually upgrade at all. Instead, they'll get their first taste of Windows 8 when they buy a new laptop or PC. Microsoft claims it has sold 60 million Windows 8 licenses so far, with a good chunk of those going to OEMs who plan to bundle the OS with their new kit.

In addition to ending its Windows upgrade discounts, Microsoft will also begin charging $9.99 for its Windows Media Center add-on pack on January 31. Previously it had been a free upgrade for Windows 8 Pro users.

Upgrade pricing for the UK, Europe, and other regions was not available as The Reg went to press. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.