Microsoft has announced pricing for its Windows 8 Pro upgrade package. The price to upgrade via a download from Microsoft.com in US Dollars will be $39.99. For anyone who’d rather have it on an old-style DVD, well that will cost $69.99.
There is no official launch date yet and the announcement only detailed the US pricing. The previously announced upgrade offer for anyone buying a Windows 7 product from June onwards means they can update to Windows 8 for $14.99 or £14.99 in the UK. So for Brits it seems that Microsoft is simply swapping the dollar sign for pounds.
Even so, it looks like Microsoft is becoming more competitive with its operating system prices. Apple may have something to do with this, as its OS X Mountain Lion will cost just $19.99 (£13.99 in the UK) to download from the Mac App Store.
Microsoft is offering what it calls a "single upgrade path" and its packages will be compatible from prior versions of Windows all the way back to XP.
The pricing applies until January 31, 2013, after which it may increase. To qualify for the upgrade offer you’ll need to be currently running a genuine version of XP, Vista or Windows 7.
The Windows Blog explains, "You will be able to upgrade from any consumer edition of Windows 7 to Windows 8 Pro and bring everything along which includes your Windows settings, personal files, and apps. If you are upgrading from Windows Vista, you will be able to bring along your Windows settings and personal files, and if you are upgrading from Windows XP you will only be able to bring along your personal files."
There are also options to do a clean installation and format your hard drive during the upgrade process, though you’ll probably need a valid boot disc for the old OS before updating to Windows 8.
The download version will be available in 131 countries and in 37 languages. A simplified Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant will help users to select the right language and will even pause the download for built-in compatibility checks along the way. There are also more advanced options for customising the upgrade process.
Once you have bought and downloaded and upgrade, you will be able to create your own bootable USB or ISO file that can be burned onto a DVD as a backup. There will be a Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro System Builder product also available for anyone not upgrading from a prior version of Windows, but that pricing has not yet been revealed.
More info: Windows Blog