Windows 8 Pro upgrade details announced

Last month Microsoft announced a $14.99 Windows 8 upgrade offer for new Windows 7 PCs purchased between June 2012 and January 2013 so customers don't miss out on Windows 8 by a mere few months.

The Windows team has now announced on their blog the prices consumers running Windows 7, Vista and XP will have to pay to upgrade to the Pro edition of Windows 8.

Users will be able to purchase a downloadable version of the Windows 8 Pro upgrade from Windows.com for just $39.99. For those who prefer to shop at retail stores, Microsoft will offer a packaged DVD version for only $69.99. These low prices are part of a limited-period promotion that will run from Windows 8's final release a.k.a. General Availability (GA), which is expected to be in October this year, through January 31st, 2013.

Users who purchase this upgrade will also be able to add Windows Media Center to their Windows 8 Pro installation for no extra cost. This is great because Media Center will not otherwise be available for free. People who buy a retail copy of Windows 8 Pro will have to get it as a separate, paid add-on called the Media Center Pack.

Microsoft also shared a few details about the upgrade process. When you purchase the downloadable upgrade, a Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant will walk you through the complete process. The Upgrade Assistant will generate a detailed compatibility report that tells you whether all your installed devices and programs are compatible with Windows 8 (much like what the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor did).

Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant compatibility check

Now of course, the real advantage of performing an upgrade install over a clean install is that you don't have to reinstall your programs and are able to keep your files and settings on the new OS. The Windows 8 Pro upgrade will support upgrading from Windows 7, Vista and XP, but what you do get to bring along to Windows 8 and what you don't will depend on which version of Windows you are upgrading from. You can also decide to not keep anything and start afresh.

Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant settings, files and apps options

The Upgrade Assistant will download Windows 8 to your computer and will include a built-in download manager that lets you pause/resume the download.

When download completes, you may choose to install Windows 8 right away, or install it later by creating your own bootable USB flash drive or an ISO file which can be burned to a DVD. You can also purchase a backup DVD for $15. If you choose to boot from media, there will also be an option to format your hard drive from within the setup.

Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant install and media options

Finally, this upgrade will be available in 131 countries and 37 languages.

So, given the attractive pricing, will you upgrade as soon as Windows 8 is out? Or will you rather wait for a decent number of quality apps to hit the Windows Store?

Image credit: Blogging Windows (modified)

  Source: Blogging Windows
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