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Windows 8 - Pricing, upgrading details

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Guest_James (Jim) Hillier_*

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Windows 8 may come in in fewer flavors than its predecessors but it seems pricing policy is set to be as confusing as ever, if not more so. One thing appears certain; anyone wishing to purchase the new operating system, whether it be via upgrade, OEM, or whatever, is going to get a much better deal this side of January 31st, 2013… prices after that date (when the promotion expires) are set to rise dramatically.

Windows 8 is (or will be) available in just two editions for home PC users; Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. Neither edition includes Media Center or support for DVD playback. Media Center cannot be added to Windows 8 but will be available to purchase as an add-on for Windows 8 Pro. I cannot see any reason why the DVD playback issue could not easily be resolved by installing one of the good, free third party media players such as VLC.

Here is a run down of features included in Windows 8 Pro which are missing from the standard Windows 8:
  • BitLocker encryption
  • Boot from VHD
  • Join a Windows domain
  • Group Policy
  • Hyper-V (on 64-bit systems with SLAT capable CPU)
  • Windows Media Center (via purchased add-on)
  • Remote Desktop – Client & Host (Windows 8 includes Client only)
You can view a full feature comparison chart on Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_8_editions

I’ve hunted all around the net and as far as I can see there is still no official word from Microsoft on an exact overall pricing structure. However, we can ascertain some aspects of pricing through dribs and drabs of information posted on Microsoft related blogs and via pre-order details from retail outlets.

Here is what we now know for certain:
  • Windows 8 Pro upgrade is now available to pre-order through selected retailers at $69.99us.
  • If you purchase (or have purchased) an eligible Windows 7 PC any time between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013 you will be able to purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just $14.99us – redeemable commencing 26th October.
  • Microsoft is set to offer an online Windows 8 Pro upgrade for $39.99us, available from 26th October through 31st January 2013 (a backup DVD will also be available for an additional $15.00).
According to an article posted on Windows Blog, Media Center will be available free to everyone who upgrades via Microsoft’s $39.99 online process:

We set out to make it as easy as possible for everyone to upgrade to Windows 8. Starting at general availability, if your PC is running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 you will qualify to download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just $39.99. And if you want, you can add Windows Media Center for free through the “add features” option within Windows 8 Pro after your upgrade.

Also, online retailer Newegg is currently offering the following ‘deals’ on Windows 8 pre-orders:
  • Windows 8 Professional Upgrade – $69.99 (save $130)
  • Windows 8 Pro Pack – Product Key Card (no media) – $69.99 (save $30)
  • Windows 8 (Full Version) – OEM $99.99
  • Windows 8 Pro (Full Version) – OEM $139.99
The fact that Newegg has appended a “save $130.00” note to the Windows 8 Pro upgrade deal also seems to suggest that the price is set to jump to $199.99 after the promotion expires on January 31st.

In case you were wondering, the ‘Windows 8 Pro Pack‘ is for upgrading Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro. Meaning that if you originally purchased Windows 8 and then wish to upgrade to Pro you will currently have to fork out a further $69.99 for the privilege. This also looks set to increase at promotion’s end, by $30.00 to $99.90. Although, according to an article posted on the MSDN blog, the Pro Pack does include Media Center.

From what I have read, and based on the pricing structure as it currently stands, it appears the Pro edition represents the sweeter deal. The best (least expensive) option for anyone looking to upgrade, other than those who are eligible for the $14.99 deal, certainly appears to be Microsoft’s $39.99 online offer which will be avilable from 26th October.

*Those who are eligible for the special $14.99 upgrade price have until February 28th, 2013 to register… here is a link to full instructions: Windows Upgrade Offer Registration Now Available.

**Details regarding pricing are relevant to the U.S. – other countries may vary.

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Thanks for the news JH. As usual you covered every single imaginable base with this.

The early purchase sure sounds sweet, but I just can't get past Rainmeter's Omnimo with all its configurations as the way to go for me. I've really been on the edge of using the Windows 8 transformation pack, but it's very Windows 8, and I still very much prefer the desktop experience of Omnimo...

Seriously, I can't hardly believe it's almost here. I guess I'm extremely skeptical of the future of 8. I'm especially worried about what's going to happen if/when businesses try it. Oh brother, could that be bad. IDK, it just seems so inefficient to me as an interface... :unknown:

The million dollar question...you guys going to 8?

Guest_James (Jim) Hillier_*

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Hey FS - I reluctantly installed Windows 8 Release Preview about two weeks ago. Much to my surprise, I've since done a complete about face... I really like it!

I made the mistake of listening to all the negative talk and ultimately basing my own assessment on other peoples' opinions... you'd think I'd know better at may age. :)

Missing Start button? What missing Start button? It's still there, move the mouse cursor down to the bottom lefthand corner of the screen and right click for instant access to the Start menu. And the actual Start menu itself is more configurable than ever.

And what the heck is all the fuss about booting to the Start menu rather than to the desktop? A shortcut to the desktop is clearly included at the bottom of the default Start menu, just one click and in the blinking of an eye... there's the desktop... too easy!

I don't believe coporate users are going to move quickly to Windows 8 either, but then businesses have always traditionally been slow to migrate to any new OS. However, I do think home users are going to take to Windows 8, it really is highly configurable, more so than ever before, and the 'best of both worlds' aspect is sure to appeal to many.

Oh, and Metro (or whatever it's called now) does not detract from the desktop experience at all... if anything, it adds to it.

Anyway, that's my opinion after hands on experience, for what it's worth.

Cheers mate... Jim



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Hey, JH. Glad to hear your positive experience with 8. As you know, I have been the worst against it, and I would say I still am not a fan, just because of the idea of where MS is trying to drag business. I just don't like the directional thinking. It wasn't just the interface...more the proprietarism built into the apps, etc. Not that I mind MS making some money, but to me MS should be searching for solutions to make Works and Money, which have both been buried (unbelievable to me), relevant rather than cooking up an OS to make a few bucks on apps.

I seriously like the Windows 8 transformation pack. It's a similar experience to what you have mentioned. It's seriously a cool break from the boredom of the straight desktop. However, I'm not really looking for anything interesting from the OS per se. I'd rather have a standard OS and focus on working on an interesting life :greeting: . So I use Rainmeter with Omnimo. Yep, it's all on the desktop, so it's not so interesting as the start screen, but that's what I like best for a PC.

I just wish MS hadn't dragged EVERYONE down this road. I can see how home users will like it who don't use their computers in a serious way to earn money. I think, though, it would have been smarter to just give up the ship of trying to make an OS anything but a means to income. Income is where the potential of computers is. MS could have led the way into a real revolution in business, and everyone could have been focused on extending the boundaries of their office to their home and beyond, too. Looks like we'll get a clever scheme instead from MS. Definitely don't think the tablet is in any sort of way the answer MS is saying it will be=>stripped down lame excuse for Office.. :negative:

Still think someone will come along and bring out the income boosting potential in PCs. Just don't think 8 is even close to being that, even though it is clever and interesting for most uses.

Overall, it's sort of like MS has shut down the Louvre, taken the least important art from there and put it in a cheap building because it costs less to keep there and because more people will be able to pay to see it and then just trashed the most important art that are the only reason some people ever cared about a museum in Paris anyway. It's a long term mistake I think. Not so much a problem with the program in this case but with the strategy of MS reflected in the program (there aren't any options...)...I guess only time will tell how this strategy works for MS. In the mean time, looks like the only way to look at it is the way you are. Once again, credit to you for being bringing home the positives in 8. Thanks for that..

Guest_James (Jim) Hillier_*

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FS, Windows 8 is almost exactly the same as Windows 7. The only real difference is the menu system and the way in which the user interacts with it. Those changes are not bad, just different... it just requires a little familiarization. Nothing has really changed for the corporate sector either, Windows 8 desktop is just as capable as any previous Windows OSs, the ability to run complex work related software is just as solid as it always has been.

I really don't think MS had any choice but to follow the hugely successful closed eco-system model employed by both Apple and Google. To sit on their hands and ignore the threat would have been pure folly. Sales and market share statistics have always been the driving force, and probably always will be. When you add it all up, MS is simply providing users with what those figures strongly indicate the majority are wanting... the simple business law of supply and demand.

Cheers... Jim



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Yeah Jim...I agree with you on the fundamentals. Just would prefer they had gone down a different road with improvements to Windows. You have definitely earned the last word on this MS release, however.

Only thing I would say is that with 8, MS has lost me for sure to the first OS maker that can securely put my bank and investment accounts on my desktop and can put together an office bundle that is 100% thought through...not because I don't like the interface (it's not for me), but because it's not the serious business I would have expected from MS at this juncture...

That said, as always, your thinking is rock solid... :good:



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Thank you Jim for your positive review. I know from much following you on FBB and DCT, that you "tell it, like it is", i.e. no B/S!

I have been struggling with the decision on whether to put my head in the sand and ignore Win 8 (and therefore infinitesimally ‘punish’ Microsoft) or whether to ‘future proof’ myself while the offer of a $40/£25 upgrade is available. In spite of it will be counted as another vote for Microsoft, I think I will succumb. Don’t worry; I won’t blame you (much) if I then find I hate it.

Thanks again for your rock steady approach to these topics.

Those who will not reason are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not are slaves.

Guest_James (Jim) Hillier_*

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Don’t worry; I won’t blame you (much) if I then find I hate it.

LOL. Thank mate.

Hey JST - Well, acceptance of WIndows 8, as with many things, is going to be highly subjective. Some are gunna like it, others are gunna hate it. I just happen to fall into the former category.

The $39.99 deal from MS is certainly bargain basement price for a Windows OS, even if it does only support upgrading. If anyone, anyone at all, is contemplating moving to Windows 8... regardless of which path they choose, buying berfore January 31st next year is going to save them a bucket load of cash.

If and when you do make the move, I'll be interested to hear your thoughts.

Cheers... Jim

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