The ability to get Windows 8 on the cheap (in a legal and legitimate way) is ending soon. But is Microsoft doing the right thing in upping the price of its latest operating system?
Anyone choosing to upgrade to Windows 8 from XP, Vista, or Windows 7 has, until now, been able to do so on the cheap. By taking advantage of Microsoft’s admittedly generous early discounts, it’s been possible to justify switching to the latest operating system, even if you’re not convinced it’s worth the time and effort to do so.
However, things are changing, and soon.
The promotional pricing for Windows 8 that Microsoft chose to offer from launch is ending on Jan. 31, 2013. The offer has meant that anyone buying a new Windows 7 computer could upgrade to Windows 8 for just $15, and anyone with an older computer (XP or newer) could upgrade to Windows 8 for $40.
From next month the price of upgrading will increase to $120 for Windows 8 (Core) and $200 for Windows 8 Pro. This has caused a considerable amount of consternation among some people, who have complained that Microsoft is somehow ramping the price up to take advantage of consumers after the initial frenzy of interest has died down.
As pointed out by Paul Thurrott, this isn’t actually the case. The promotional price was always temporary and always going to end a few months after Windows 8 was launched into the wild. The new price is also the same price as Windows 7 was after its initial promotional period ended. In other words Microsoft is doing things completely by the book.
That isn’t the end of the story though. Maximum PC argues that Windows 8 is a different beast from Windows 7, and that the cut Microsoft gets from everything sold through the Windows Store means the initial asking price for the OS should be lower. There’s also the fact that Windows 8 isn’t doing anywhere near as well as Windows 7, which adds to the argument for pricing it accordingly.
I wouldn’t be surprised if we witness a u-turn from Microsoft on this one. The current promotion will lapse, but there’s nothing preventing them from instituting a brand new one.