Get ready for a price increase on Windows 8 upgrades starting February 1.
The official Windows blog confirms that Microsoft plans to pull the current upgrade cost for Windows 8 on January 31, 2013. That means consumers still have a little time left to upgrade their installation of Windows 7 or later to the new OS release before the prices skyrocket back up to $99.99 USD and more.
As it stands now, consumers can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just $39.99 USD via Windows.com, or purchase the upgrade DVD for $69.99 USD at supporting retail locations. For those who purchased an eligible Windows 7 PC between June 2nd and January 31st, 2013, the Windows Upgrade Offer charges only $14.99 for moving up to Windows 8 Pro.
"If you upgrade to the Windows 8 edition or buy a PC with the Windows 8 edition pre-installed and want to move to the Windows 8 Pro edition, you can purchase the Windows 8 Pro Pack (previously known as Windows Anytime Upgrade) directly within Windows 8 by going to the Start screen and typing 'Add Features to Windows 8' and at participating retailers for $69.99 MSRP (U.S.) until January 31st," Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc said on Friday.
For consumers running Windows 8 Pro that want Windows Media Center and DVD playback, they can add the Windows 8 Media Center Pack for free until January 31st, LeBLanc added.
Customers building their PC from scratch, looking to run the new OS in a Virtual Machine, or want to install the OS on a separate partition are suggested to purchase the Windows 8 edition or Windows 8 Pro edition OEM product known as "System Builder". Both are available online and at local retailers, he said.
Now for the bad news.
Here is the list of upgrade pricing set to take place on February 1, and it's not pretty compared to the cheap pricing Microsoft has offered so far:
* The Windows 8 Pro upgrade edition will be available online and at retail for $199.99 MSRP (U.S.).
* The Windows 8 upgrade edition will be available online and at retail for $119.99 MSRP (U.S.).
* The Windows 8 Pro Pack will cost $99.99 MSRP (U.S.).
* The Windows 8 Media Center Pack will cost $9.99 MSRP (U.S.).
If you're still procrastinating over upgrading to Windows 8, time is running out. Don't be scared – it's not the horrid monster critics have described since before its release. The new Modern UI isn't even the base OS despite what Microsoft has tried to sell. The desktop is still there – you just have to poke through the layer of square clouds (tiles) to access the familiar green pastures of your desktop residing below. The biggest change is the removal of the Start button, but the Start8 app can fix all that for a quick $5.