Windows 8 is now available for pre-order ahead of the Oct. 26 launch, Microsoft Corp. announced today.
Windows 8 PCs from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Samsung, and Sony also went on sale today to coincide with the purchasing availability. Many PC makers have unveiled new form factors to take advantage of Windows 8’s touch screen interface. Hybrid tablets that dock to keyboard stands, or convertible Ultrabooks that slide the screen over top of the keyboard have been debuted.
What’s for sale on the software side is the DVD package containing Windows 8 Pro, retailing for $69.99 USD. Retailers including Amazon.com, Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot, and the Microsoft Store are selling Windows 8 now. Those who wait until launch day can download an upgrade to Windows 8 using Windows.com – an upgrade that only costs $39.99 for regular price.
Microsoft’s pre-sales success for Windows 8 could be an indicator of whether this new OS will be enthusiastically adopted or shrugged off by the market. Although many may want to wait for the less expensive download option to be available, the lure of new hardware will lead sales of Windows 8 on PCs from its OEM partners.
No doubt the Windows 8 launch will be heavily scrutinized. Microsoft redeemed itself in the eyes of many with its Windows 7 launch in 2009, an operating system that has seen good adoption and buy-in from partners. But the memory of Vista is still fresh for many, an OS that was widely panned for being too sluggish and having an annoyingly over-active user access control function.