Microsoft aggressively prices the Windows 8 Pro upgrade at $40

Windows 8 Desktop

Announced on Microsoft’s official Blogging Windows blog earlier today, the software company plans to run a special pricing promotion when Windows 8 launches to the public later this year. According to Windows communication manager Brandon LeBlanc, any consumer currently using a copy of Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 will be able to purchase an upgrade copy of Windows 8 Pro for a price of $39.99. By comparison, the current rate for an upgrade to Windows 7 Professional costs $199.99 on the Microsoft Store and runs about $160 on retailers like Amazon. This $39.99 price for a Windows 8 Pro upgrade even trumps the current student rate of $64.95 for Windows 7 Professional on the Microsoft Store. 

Windows 8 Compatibility ReportOne caveat to the discounted rate is that the $39.99 rate is for a digital copy only. If a Windows user would prefer to get a physical copy on DVD, they can purchase the upgrade to Windows 8 Pro on DVD at a local store for a price of $69.99.  However, anyone with a DVD burner could simply burn the digital copy on disc to accomplish the same feat.

According to LeBlanc, this upgrade can be purchased on later this year after the Windows user runs through the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant. The software looks for compatibility issues with both the hardware and the software during the upgrade process. The Windows user can choose to keep all Windows settings and applications or choose to just keep personal files.

In addition, Microsoft will offer an option that allows users to create a clean install of the software instead of upgrading the current version of Windows. The drive can be formatted during the upgrade process in order to start fresh with the new operating system. After the Windows user selects those options, Microsoft initiates the download process and allows the user to continue using the PC until the download is complete.

Windows 8 Upgrade Extra CopyOnce the download finishes, the user has the option of starting the upgrade immediately or creating a link on the desktop that will initiate the upgrade process at a later time. The Windows user can also create a bootable USB drive or save an ISO image to burn to a blank DVD for a backup. For anyone interested in using a USB drive, the drive needs to have a minimum of 3GB free.

The download will be available in 37 different languages in over 100 countries when Windows 8 is released later this year. According to a recent report from The Verge, Microsoft is already compiling the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build and could be providing the software to computer manufacturers by the end of July 2012. In addition, Microsoft is targeting a release date of the operating system during the middle of October 2012. When the Windows 8 is released, consumers will be able to purchase the upgrade at the promotional $39.99 price until January 31, 2013. LeBlanc also indicated that two full versions of Windows 8 will be available to consumers that build their own computers, but did not specify price at this time. The current rate for an OEM copy of Windows 7 Professional runs about $140 at a retailer like Newegg.


Potentially malicious WinRAR vulnerability patched after almost 20 years

WinRAR, a piece of Windows software for managing archival formats, has been harboring a vulnerability for nearly two decades, potentially allowing malicious software to insert items into a computer's startup folder without user permission.

Still miss Windows 7? Here's how to make Windows 10 look more like it

There's no simple way of switching on a Windows 7 mode in Windows 10. Instead, you can install third-party software, manually tweak settings, and edit the registry. We provide instructions for using these tweaks and tools.

Protecting your PDF with a password isn't difficult. Just follow these steps

If you need to learn how to password protect a PDF, you have come to the right place. This guide will walk you through the process of protecting your documents step-by-step, whether you're running a MacOS or Windows machine.

Speed up your system by tweaking the startup application in Windows and MacOS

Bothered by programs that automatically start when you boot your computer, or want to add a new one to the list? Here's how to change your startup programs in Windows 7, 8, and 10, along with Apple's MacOS.

Windows updates shouldn't cause problems, but if they do, here's how to fix them

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you step by step.

Learn to uninstall a Steam game and clear some space on your PC

Looking to learn how to uninstall Steam games? You've come to the right place. In this guide, we walk you through the process step by step, whether you want Steam to do it for you or handle the process manually.

Prone to web surfing? Google Chrome’s new Focus Mode fights internet distractions

Finding yourself distracted by the web when you need to get work done? A new flag in Google Chrome could hint at a new Focus Mode. The feature may allow computer users to block distracting websites or notifications.

Intel expects Apple to transition Macs to ARM processors in 2020, report says

It has been rumored for some time that Apple could transition away from Intel to ARM processors, but a new report now claims that Intel is aware of the decision and that it could happen in 2020.

Dodge the biggest laptop-buying mistakes with these handy tips

Buying a new laptop is exciting, but you need to watch your footing. There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid and we're here to help. Check out these top-10 laptop buying mistakes and how to avoid them.

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.

Everything you need to know about routers, modems, combos, and mesh networks

Modem vs. router: what's the difference? We explain their functions so you can better diagnose any issues prior to contacting technical support. We also talk about a few variants you'll see offered by ISPs and retailers.

The rumors were true. Nvidia’s 1660 Ti GPU, a $280 powerhouse, has arrived

Nvidia has officially launched the GTX 1660 Ti, its next-generation, Turing-based GPU. It promises to deliver all the performance and efficiency for all modern games, but without stepping into the high price range of the RTX series. 

Metro Exodus update brings DLSS improvements to Nvidia RTX 20-series PCs

Having issues in Metro Exodus? A February 21 update for the title recently delivered enhancements to Nvidia’s deep learning supersampling feature and other fixes for low-specced PCs.