Microsoft to raise Windows 8 upgrade prices 400%

Microsoft to raise Windows 8 upgrade prices 400%

When discount ends in less than two weeks, Windows 8 Pro upgrade jumps to $200

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Microsoft on Friday announced Windows 8 upgrade price increases of as much as 400% that will take effect Feb. 1, when a three-month promotional discount ends.

The current $39.99 (£25) deal for a Windows 8 Pro upgrade expires in less than two weeks, on Jan. 31. At that point, higher prices similar or identical to those for Windows 7 will move into place, Microsoft spokesman Brandon LeBlanc confirmed Friday.

An upgrade from XP, Vista or Windows 7 to Windows 8 Pro will cost $199.99 (£125) starting Feb. 1, LeBlanc said, a five-fold increase. The Windows 8 Pro Pack, which upgrades a copy of Windows 8 - the edition installed on most consumer PCs - to the more capable Windows 8 Pro, will run $99.99 (£63), a 43% jump from the promotional price of $69.99 (£44).

Microsoft will also add a new SKU to the mix that upgrades XP, Vista or Windows 7 to Windows 8, not the Pro edition. The price: $119.99 (£75).

The Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro upgrade prices are identical to the suggested list prices for Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Professional upgrades, but the Pro Pack's $99.99 (£63) is 11% higher than what Microsoft charged for the "Anytime Upgrade" from Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional.

The prices were not surprising, as numerous retailers had long cited the after-discount costs for Windows 8 Pro and Pro Pack. The only real news was the availability of a Windows 8 upgrade, something that Microsoft had previously declined to confirm.

LeBlanc also noted that download and boxed copy prices were the same, a pricing practice Microsoft has used before.

Although Microsoft was applauded last summer when it unveiled the $39.99 (£25) Windows 8 Pro upgrade, Friday's final price tag revelations show that Microsoft has little interest in mimicking Apple. Last year, Apple sold OS X 10.8, aka Mountain Lion, for $19.99 (£12.50). In 2011, Apple charged $29.99 (£19) for Lion.

Last summer, when Microsoft revealed the Windows 8 Pro discount, Stephen Baker, an analyst with the NPD Group, pointed out that it wasn't in the Redmond company's interest to dramatically drop the price. Microsoft's goal, said Baker, was to sell new PCs, not get customers to upgrade old ones.

"It behooves Microsoft to get people to move to new hardware, so they're not going to make an upgrade extraordinarily cheap," Baker argued then. "This [upgrade cycle] is even more about hardware. Microsoft wants people to get off XP and into the new different types of hardware."

While customers have until the end of the month to take advantage of the Windows 8 Pro and Pro Pack discounts, other deadlines have already come and gone: The Windows 8 previews expired Tuesday, Jan. 15. Since then, the free previews have automatically restarted every one or two hours, and on-screen messages have told users that they must upgrade to a paid license.

More information on Windows 8's upgrade paths can be found on Microsoft's website.



  • logicworkstryit I dont think you have to throw out all of your XP programs I believe they are trying to say that you will not be able to install the upgrade over XP while maintaining the current users and programs Rather you will get a clean install of Windows 8 and then reinstall your old programs and user files and settings There may be specific programs that wont work under 8 or 7 for that matter but these tend to be ones that require direct access to computer hardware without going through the OS
  • congressive Why would anyone do this I just read the box spec for a Win8 upgrade from XP and it says I cant keep any of my programs So I am to spend 400 to lose thousands of dollars worth of excellent productivity software So I can have a clock widget on my desktop And strain my incredibly stable work computer to the point of throwing it out and getting new hardware Really How will this help me write a better novel edit a better multimedia graphic produce a better video sales presentation or Facebook my friends about the horrors of a Windows upgradeSorry Ballmer I think youve lost your mind Windows XP is a fantastic platform with an incredible array of excellent software Sell me a tablet that syncs seamlessly with my existing hardware running XP Vista or 7 and Ill buy Force me to throw out years of experience and assets and youve lost me for good
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