Windows 8 Pro will be available at a discounted price if you upgrade from Windows 7 – could become a “most-popular” offer for users of the current MSFT OS.
We’re getting pretty close to Windows 8, it seems: the upgrade program is rolling out in June
Reports suggest that Microsoft will be looking to incentivise potential Windows 7 users to upgrade to Windows 8 by offering Windows 8 Pro – the version of Windows that comes with Windows Media Center – for a discounted price. The program is reported to launch in June.
Upgrade programs allow customers who buy a PC with the outgoing OS to upgrade for free, in this case Windows 7 to Windows 8 which is expected to launch in October 2012. A source speaking to CNET has provided a picture being rolled out to OEMs, which says to go to windowsupgradeoffer.com and redeem an upgrade.
The offer applies to customers buying computers running Windows 7 Home Basic or higher, so basically all Windows 7 versions. Microsoft uses the upgrade offers to prevent PC sales from flat-lining prior to a new OS launch. While most tech savvy consumers will probably just buy Windows 7 – or buy an OEM copy – consumers walking into a store will undoubtedly go for a PC.
Windows 8 Pro is pitched as the version for tech enthusiasts and includes virtualization, domain connectivity and the aforementioned Windows Media Center. As Windows 8 Pro isn’t aimed at the general consumer, the offer isn’t free. Therefore there will be a fee for the upgrade, but the exact cost is unknown.
A question of price
The upgrade program will begin on or around June 2, 2012, which is the same period when Microsoft is releasing the Release Preview of Windows 8. The Release Preview could bring support for 33 more countries, and there’s the possibility that the Consumer Preview won’t work following the Release Preview’s release. That purely speculation though.
According to CNET’s report Microsoft is looking to take advantage of the back-to-school market, though Windows 8 won’t be available. Perhaps Microsoft wants to get some last-minute Windows 7 buyers who will be incentivised to upgrade.
CNET asked Microsoft to comment on the leak; it declined to comment. The question is what will the pricing of the Windows 8 upgrade be. Apple’s latest OS release – Lion – was around $20.