With Windows 8 officially launching in under two weeks, Microsoft and its retail partners have finally begun taking pre-orders for Windows 8. As with prior Windows pre-order promotions, several retailers are participating, including a number of brick & mortar retailers along with e-tailers such as Newegg, Amazon, and even Microsoft’s own online store.

Microsoft will essentially be handling the launch of Windows 8 in two phases: pre-order and launch. The pre-order phase is primarily geared towards buyers looking for boxed copies of Windows and with delivery on the 26th; unsurprisingly these boxed copies are priced notably higher than Microsoft’s download options. As for buyers looking to take advantage of Microsoft’s previously announced $39.99 download offer, that promotion will not begin until the launch on the 26th when Windows 8 actually ships. On that note, as previously announced both the boxed and download copies will be offered with promotional pricing, with Microsoft and its partners selling the upgrades at a significant discount until January 31, 2013.

Windows 8 SKUs
  Windows 8 Upgrade Windows 7/Vista/XP Upgrade Full Version Price
Windows 8 Pro Pack X - - $69
Windows 8 Pro Upgrade (Boxed) - X - $69
Windows 8 Pro Upgrade (Download) - X - $39
Windows 8 (Core) OEM - - X $99
Windows 8 Professional OEM - - X $139

For buyers looking for physical copies, retailers are taking pre-orders for both upgrade and full editions of Windows 8. For Windows X/Vista/7 users Microsoft is offering a single upgrade package, the Windows 8 Professional Upgrade, which has a list price of $99 but is being offered at $69 for the life of the promotion. Meanwhile the download version that will be made available on the 26th will have a $39 promotional price, putting a $30 premium on boxed copies.

As for Windows 8 (core) users – primarily those who buy computers with Windows 8 pre-installed – Microsoft is offering the Windows 8 Pro Pack upgrade for upgrading a Windows 8 (core) installation to Windows 8 Pro. Like the Win7 upgrade, this too is being offered at a promotional price of $69 with a list price of $99.

Finally, full versions of both Windows 8 (core) and Windows 8 are also being offered for pre-order, but only in OEM form at this time. There isn’t a publicly announced discount on these, so the list price of $99 for Windows 8 (core) and $139 for Windows 8 Professional should be the final price, which also closely matches the price for OEM copies of Windows 7. We haven’t seen retail full versions of Windows 8 appear for sale yet, and while there are rumors going around that Windows 8 will be OEM-only, it has not been confirmed by Microsoft.

Source: Microsoft

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  • ananduser - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Win8 vs Win7 in resource management is more visible on lower hardware. On a hardcore PC gamer's desktop the difference is like you said, 150 vs 145 fps. People with older hardware have noticed new life being breathed into their machines.
  • Metaluna - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Haven't tried it on my HTPC yet, but I expect the start screen will be much nicer to operate with my Logitech K400 (wireless combo keyboard/touchpad). Navigating the tiny start menu from 10 ft away is not real fun (not that I do it that often). A real Netflix (i.e. non-browser-based) app would be awesome.
  • Shadowmaster625 - Monday, October 15, 2012 - link

    Has anyone figured out a way to do an XP to 8 upgrade, without there being an actual OS installed? ie, Is there a way to upgrade to an SSD the same time you upgrade your OS? It can be done with 7, but maybe it is too much too soon to ask if this can be done with win 8.
  • Etsp - Monday, October 15, 2012 - link

    Do an upgrade without installing an OS? That doesn't make much sense, but I think I get what you meant (maybe)

    From everything I've seen, when you run the Windows 8 Installation process, it gives you an option to do a clean install. I don't see why they wouldn't allow you to choose a different partition for this/drive but it's certainly possible.

    One thing to do would be to change your system's boot settings in BIOS so that your SSD is the device the system looks to for a bootloader, THEN run the Windows 8 install process. I had a heck of a time trying to get Windows 7 to install on a drive before I figured out that Microsoft wouldn't let advanced users Install first, change boot settings later. (I thought using the boot menu would be a good option : /)
  • bill4 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    But my question is, will you be able to do a clean install with the $39 upgrade version?

    See, I build my own PC's, and in between that and say, buying new SSD's (just replaced my old 40GB SSD with a 128GB Crucial, for example) I find myself reinstalling the OS from scratch frequently. Given that somehow in the past I ended up with a W7 upgrade disc, I already have to do a "workaround" to clean install from it, since theoretically you're not supposed to clean install with upgrade media.

    So basically I'd be looking at: clean install from my W7 upgrade disc (requires workaround), then upgrade with W8, every time I reinstalled my OS.

    If however the $39 W8 has some type of clean install workaround, it would simplify things greatly. I would just clean install W8, and done.

    Anyways, I'd def spring for one if not two of these cheap $39 Windows 8 licenses if you can clean install them. I have a few years old laptop that I dont use much (desktop is my primary), but mainly dont like cause it's sporting Vista. Would be a great opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, put windows 8 on it, no more Vista, and also a chance to check out 8 before deciding whether to make the jump on my desktop.

    So yeah anybody know?
  • jed22281 - Sunday, August 18, 2013 - link

    So if one owns a legit copy of Win 7 Ultimate, can we buy a "physical" upgrade kit to Win 8x Ultimate?
    (Or whatever the equivalent of Win 8 Ultimate is, under the new naming schema)
    If so, what is the cost? If it's heap more than $100, I'll seriously struggle to justify the cost.

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