Facts and Rumors About Windows 8

Facts and Rumors About Windows 8

By Bob Rankin

Windows 8 is coming to market on October 26, and Microsoft is doing all it can to urge users to upgrade to its radically new operating system. That includes dropping the cost of a Windows 8 Pro upgrade to unprecedented lows. But will the lower price tag be enough to entice people to switch?

How Much Will Windows 8 Cost?

Current users of Windows 7, XP, and Vista will be able to download a Windows 8 Pro upgrade for only $39.99. A copy on DVD will cost $69.99, but you can expect discounts from major retailers. These prices will be available until January 31, 2013. If you buy a Windows 7 PC between now and January 31, you will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just $14.99.

Rumor has it that the standalone version of Windows 8 Pro, fit for installing on a bare-metal PC with no previous version of Windows, will sell for $69.99 from October 26 to January 31; it may cost $199 thereafter. Microsoft is calling this full version Windows 8 Pro System Builder, designed for do-it-yourself folks who are building their own systems.

Windows 8 Pro is the “full Monty” version designed for business, technical, and enthusiast users. With less than a month before launch, we still don’t know what pricing will be for Windows 8, the basic consumer edition. It omits features like drive encryption, group policy, and virtualization. The other two editions are Windows 8 Enterprise and Windows 8 RT (tablet version). Pricing for the former will depend on license volumes, and the latter will be embedded in tablets and smartphones.

Oh, in case you’re as confused as the next guy by geeky acronyms, here’s a bit more… The Windows 8 RT tablet product is also referred to as Windows 8 ARM (because it runs on the ARM chip that tablets use) and WOA (Windows on ARM).

If you wish, you can try the desktop Enterprise edition of Windows 8 for 90 days, free of charge. Microsoft is offering free downloads of Windows 8 evaluation copies right now. It will not be possible to upgrade an evaluation copy to a fully licensed version.

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Excerpt shared with permission from Bob Rankin.

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