Windows 8 Upgrades Will Be $39.99 Initially

Windows 8 Upgrades Will Be $39.99 Initially

Upgrading Windows has looked expensive in recent years, but the pricing for Windows 8 upgrades is surprisingly low: from release until January 31, 2013, existing Windows users will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $39.99, and you’ll be able to add Media Center for free.

In a post on the Windows Team blog, Microsoft announced its plans for the upgrade option. $39.99 gets you a digital download of Windows 8 Pro, while $69.99 gets you a DVD release if you don’t want to chew through your available download allowance.

Microsoft’s announcement doesn’t specifically mention Australia, but does note that the upgrade will be available in 131 countries. The $14.99 upgrade offer for anyone who buys a new Windows 7 PC between now and January applied to both Australia and the US (with matching pricing), so it seems reasonable to assume the same will apply in this case. (We’ve contacted Microsoft Australia for confirmation and will update if we hear anything.)

The post also confirms that during the initial upgrade phase, consumers will be able to add the Windows 8 Media Center feature for free. Microsoft had previously revealed that Media Center would be a separate paid add-on, but hadn’t disclosed pricing. Microsoft’s initial argument was that Media Center required licensing additional codecs which drove up pricing; presumably it has decided to wear that cost in order to drive people to upgrade more quickly.

Any version from XP onwards can upgrade to Windows 8, and the process uses an Upgrade Assistant that will let you know if any of your hardware is incompatible. Windows XP users can only migrate personal files when upgrading, while Vista and Windows 7 users can also migrate settings.

Windows 8 still doesn’t have an official launch date, though October is generally assumed to be the planned target. There’s also no pricing for the more basic Windows 8 standard edition, though with this pricing in place it seems unlikely too many people will opt for it. Still no word on standalone pricing for people who build their own PCs.

Upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $39.99] [Blogging Windows]


  • I wonder if there will be a work around that will allow you to use the upgrade without actually having the full previous version installed the way you could when 7 was released.?

    • From memory there is only 3 options. Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 RT. Windows 8 is the base version (which judging by the features is some mish-mash of Windows 7 Home Basic and Home Premium). Windows 8 is the Professional/Ultimate edition all in one. And Windows RT is the version found on tablets, so that is available for purchase.

      Or course there is the Enterprise version but again not really applicable on the consumer level.

      • There are 2 versions of the Windows 8 OS available to be purchased by consumers, Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. There is a business only version which is Windows 8 Enterprise. Windows RT is tablet only and cannot be “installed” but instead comes pre-installed on tablets by the manufacturers and will be completely locked down.

    • i bet they will check the key your OS says it has and if it is not legit it will bounce you. But then you could just buy the $70 DVD set and install it manually yourself, still cheaper than buying a legit copy of Win 7 Home Prem which was $170 at JB HiFi yesterday

  • Good move for them, they will sell millions more copies at a reasonable price point, oh wait i live in Australia, will probably still be north of 200 clams. Still it is a good start

  • Ok, so here’s a thing. I’ve been on Windows 8 Consumer Preview, and now Windows 8 Release Preview. I’m looking forward to “the real thing”. Problem is, the Release Preview download wiped my laptop, so now I don’t have on-board proof of owning Windows 7 (where my adventure started). GWS, I downloaded Windows 7 to install, all those years ago, so no Install disk, Will I still get the $40 ‘upgrade’?

    • Somehow I doubt it, if you had backed up your system in the first place that would be problem solved. However are you sure your drive was wiped by 8? Seems to me your original system should be still there in a separate partition on your hard drive. Seems odd that 8 would have destroyed that. grab a partition manager and check your hard drive external to Windows, there’s a few good free ones around.

      • If the key is under the laptop you might want to try downloading a torrent version if you can find a clean one and see if it will work for that. If you don’t have a DVD on it then burn to USB. If you can’t get it to install from USB then wipe the HDD clean and try again. Definitely check to see if you have it on a second partition first though.

    • I don’ want to be the bearer of bad news. But if you had Windows 7 on a laptop, the product key on your Laptop is only valid as an OEM license (not for reinstalling Windows). However if your laptop came with a recovery disc or if not you should be able to get the manufacturer to send one out to get your laptop back to what it was like when you first got it. Although you’ll probably need to manually back up everything (documents, music, video etc) from Windows 8 because it would more than likely wipe that.

  • Normally I’m not a fan of upgrading over fresh installs. But I’m wondering how competent Windows 8’s reset to factory defaults is. As anyone had a go at using it in the Release Preview?

    • I agree there. Unless you have a touch enabled interface, I do not see the interest in it at all. After using the Preview version on a VM on my machine without a touch interface, it was pretty clear that 8 is designed specifically for that type of interaction with the system. Using a mouse and keyboard with it gets pretty clunky pretty fast. However, if an upgrade is $40 for it, it might be worth it. Basically that would make it so that I have a copy of Vista, 7, and 8 all for the bargain price of about $130. The question I would be curious about though would be will the copy of 8 that you get have its own Key like the 7 disc I got through the free from Vista upgrade or will it piggy back on the existing 7 key instead?

  • It is sorta good in a way you don’t have to pay for 3 copies of the OS or more to get a discount, with Windows 7 (the minimum discount being that of the family 3 pack).

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