Microsoft said via Twitter on Monday that registration for the Windows Upgrade Offer begins today, August 20. Customers who purchase a Windows 7-based desktop or laptop between June 2nd, 2012 and January 31st, 2013 will have until February 28, 2013 to grab their $14.99 promotional upgrade to Windows 8 Pro. Registration requires customers to enter their 25-digit Windows 7 product key as well as info like the retailer's name, PC brand, PC model and more.
"After customer registration and Microsoft validation, customers will receive a registration confirmation email," the FAQ states. "Beginning October 26, 2012, registered customers will receive an email with a promotion code and instructions for purchasing and downloading the software. The promotion code can be redeemed during the upgrade ordering process to receive the promotional price."
Microsoft also states that while the offer will be limited to eligible customers who purchase a qualified PC, the upgrade may be installed on any compatible Windows-based PC with a qualifying operating system. Microsoft recommends a desktop or laptop with a 1 GHz or faster CPU, 1 GB RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit), 15 GB of free HDD space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit), and a DirectX 9 GPU with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver. A more detailed list can be seen here.
Don't plan on purchasing a new Windows 7 PC? Microsoft still has a discount for those looking to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro. When the OS finally goes retail in October, customers with a Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 machine will qualify to download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just $39.99 in 131 markets. Even more, customers can add Windows Media Center for free through the "add features" option within Windows 8 Pro after the upgrade.
"When you use Windows.com to purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant makes upgrading simple by walking you through the upgrade process step-by-step from purchase to download and then of course installation," said Microsoft's Brandon LeBLanc last month. "If you prefer to shop at a local store, a packaged DVD version of the upgrade to Windows 8 Pro will be available for $69.99 during this promotion."
This particular upgrade promotion for Windows 8 Pro, both online and at retail, runs through January 31, 2013.