If you’re not willing to pay for the $39.99 digital/$64.99 retail Windows 8 upgrade, there’s now another option: buy an Asus ultrabook, and get the upgrade for free!
There’s now another Windows 8 upgrade option for users who buy a Windows 7 Asus ultrabook
At the beginning of this month, Microsoft announced the Windows 8 upgrade offer: it allows users to pay $39.99 or $69.99 for a digital or retail upgrade to the OS. Users running Windows XP through to Windows 7 qualify, and Asus is saying if you buy an Asus Windows 7 ultrabook then you’ll get the upgrade for free!
The deal supports the Acer Aspire M3, M5, S3 or S4 from June 2 to January 31, 2013. That’s the same end period as the Windows 8 Upgrade offer; Asus says it will refund users, which isn’t quite offering a free upgrade. Does that mean we’ll have to go through the awkward process of mailing in a rebate?
Correct, it seems: when Windows 8 releases there will be a link to apply for a refund. The ultrabook serial number and Microsoft order number will be required. Whether you feel like that’s worth buying is dependent on whether an ultrabook is worth buying. Microsoft’s Surface tablets still look like the ultimate device, namely because it can be an ultrabook and tablet in a matter of seconds providing you have the magnetic keyboard.
Confusing Messaging With Ultrabooks
Ultrabooks have failed to gain significant market share, research from Gartner revealed recently. The research firm said the device is in an early adopter phase, and it added that Asus will probably drop ultrabook prices quicker than other manufacturers.
I think, inevitably, when you’re shipping four devices running Windows 8 – the PC, traditional laptop, ultrabook and tablet – something is going to suffer. That could be ultrabooks, because the form factor is in similar position to where tablets were when the iPad launched: consumers are asking where they sit between a PC and tablet. It isn’t the powerhouse a PC can be, but it’s not as lightweight as a tablet. It’s also not as great for touch input, because you’ve got to bend over because of a keyboard. That’s not a great experience.
Windows 8 launches late October.