On Monday, the official Windows Blog announced Microsoft's plans for upgrading to Windows 8 Pro at launch. For just $39.99, customers can upgrade to the new OS from Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 in 131 markets. Want Windows Media Center too? It will be free through the "add features" option within Windows 8 Pro after the upgrade.
"The Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant will check to make sure your PC is ready for Windows 8," Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc reports in the blog. "It will provide a detailed compatibility report that lets you know of anything you may have to address before or after the upgrade and outlines actions to take. It will also inform you of any application or device compatibility issues."
As previously reported, customers will be able to upgrade from any consumer edition of Windows 7 to Windows 8 Pro and bring everything along which includes all Windows settings, personal files, and apps. If upgrading from Windows Vista, users will able to bring along Windows settings and personal files. Windows XP users will only be able to bring their personal files.
"Of course, if you want to start fresh, you can choose to bring nothing along," the blog adds. "Or if you prefer to format your hard drive as part of your upgrade experience, you can do so as long as you boot from media and then format your hard drive from within the setup experience for installing Windows 8, not prior to it."
Once customers purchase Windows 8 Pro, the Upgrade Assistant will manage the download and even allow users to pause and continue when needed. It will also check to make sure the installation file downloads successfully. Once completed and verified, users can proceed with the installation, or do so later from the desktop or by bootable media customers can create (USB, DVD). Want to purchase a backup DVD from Microsoft? That will cost $15 bucks plus shipping and handling.
"We believe that your upgrade experience in Windows 8 will be a breeze by offering a faster experience, a single upgrade path, and compatibility from prior versions of Windows," LeBlanc reports. "We’ve continued to listen to our customers and have expanded the ability to download to over 100 countries and 37 languages. We have simplified the Windows upgrade experience with the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant which supports you during your upgrade with everything from selecting your language to pausing your download to built-in compatibility checks - it’s seamless. And if you’re an enthusiast you will have the flexibility to download and control how you upgrade."
Don't want to take the online route? A packaged DVD version of the upgrade to Windows 8 Pro will be available for $69.99 during this specific launch promotion. Both the online and offline upgrade promotion will end on January 31, 2013.
For those who are building your own PC or installing Windows 8 in a virtual machine or a separate partition, you will be able to purchase and install the Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro System Builder product, Microsoft said.