According to a source familiar with Microsoft’s pricing strategy, Windows 8 Pro will be priced at $69.99 as part of a time-limited deal. The regular pricing will then almost triple to $199.
Not buying the digital versions of Windows 8 this October? Well you could be paying a significant amount of money to upgrade
We know of Microsoft’s various upgrade offers bringing Windows 8 to the masses for bargain basement prices, though what if you’re: a) not upgrading and b) buying Windows 8 in a box? Sources speaking to technology website The Verge claiming the regular cost may be just under $200.
A promotional price of $69.99 will run until January 31, 2013 — three months after Windows 8 launches (October) — before becoming the aforementioned price. Concurrently there will be a Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro upgrade offer in stores for $69.99 until January 31, 2012. The price then becomes $99.99. It’s not clear if upgrades can be performed in-store or it’s simply a box with the disc. Or both.
So that’s four upgrade offers for Windows 8, providing the source’s information is true. Students can buy a Windows 7 PC for $699.99 and upgrade for $14.99; or people can buy a PC until January 2013 and get the $15 upgrade offers; the in-store offer, more expensive than the two offers Microsoft announced; and the $39.99 digital upgrade for Windows XP, Vista, and 7 users (though there’s a $69.99 upgrade in-store).
It’s definitely cheaper than past versions of Windows, and perhaps that’s because Microsoft wants to shift users so the Windows 8 install base increases as quickly as possible. Active development is tied to the install base and, while this is Windows we’re talking about, the shift to Modern UI (the tile-based interface in Windows Phone and Zune) is controversial and will cause skepticism among many users.
Ultimately I think Microsoft will have a large install base, though it’ll be important to monitor users’ reactions and where the desktop environment is preferred. It’s kind of a similar situation to Diablo 3: Blizzard delivered the fastest selling PC game ever, though the feeling towards the game among many players is negative.
Windows 8 launches October 26, 2012.