Windows 8 upgrade to cost $39.99 USD

If you’ve got a PC running Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, Microsoft will upgrade the operating system to Windows 8 Pro for $39.99 as soon as it becomes generally available.

For customers who make the purchase via windows.com, Microsoft willthrow in a free copy of Windows Media Center, the company’s digitalvideo recorder and media player, accordingto a blog by Windows team member Brandon LeBlanc.

The same offer will be available via a CD in stores for $69.99. Thedeal starts when Windows 8 becomes generallyavailable, but the blogdoesn’t say when that is. It also doesn’t say how long the offer lasts.

Before customers actually download the software from windows.com, anupgrade assistant assesses whether the PCl applications and peripheraldevices are compatible with Windows 8.

Not all upgrades are equal, the blog says. Customers upgrading fromWindows 7 will be able to bringalong their personal settings, filesand applications. But those upgrading from Windows Vista won’t be ableto bring along their apps, and those upgrading from XP won’t be able tobring along either their apps or their personal settings.

The leading PC seller won’t offer an ARM-based version of Windows 8 –at least initially, because it doesn’t see demand for the platform,according to a story by Bloomberg.

“The robust and established ecosystem of x86 applications provides thebest customer experience at this time and in the immediate future,” anHP spokesperson told Bloomberg,and that the decision “was influencedby input from our customers.”

Surface RT tablets
The x86 Windows 8 machines will support any applications that run onWindows 7 via a traditional Windows interface, but also supportMetro-style apps that are suited to Microsoft’s new touch-friendlyinterface.

Microsoft itself will ship ARM-based tablet/laptops called Surface RTas soon as Windows 8 is ready to ship, so customers seeking thepower-pinching devices won’t have to wait. It won’t run traditionalapplications but it does include a limited version of Microsoft Office.

While HP is putting off any excursion into Windows RT at the outset,Microsoft is delaying its entry into x86 Surface Windows 8 Pro devicesfor 90 days after Windows 8 becomes generally available. So HP will beable to offer x86-based devices unchallenged by the new MicrosoftSurface full laptop.

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