Microsoft details Windows 8 upgrade program for consumers

People who buy Windows 7 PCs between June 2 and the end of January will qualify to upgrade the OS to Windows 8 at a discount

Microsoft provided on Friday more details about the Windows 8 OS upgrade program for consumers who buy Windows 7 PCs, clarifying certain dates, offer limits and impact on the company's accounting.

The Windows 8 operating system is in its final stages of development and may ship toward the end of this year. But Microsoft doesn't want consumers to hold off on purchasing Windows 7 PCs in the meantime.

That's where the Windows Upgrade Offer comes in. Announced on Thursday along with the latest test version of Windows 8, the Windows Upgrade Offer will let buyers of Windows 7 PCs upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for US$14.99.

Microsoft hasn't disclosed retail prices for shrink-wrapped, stand-alone versions of Windows 8, but the equivalent to Windows 8 Pro is Windows 7 Professional, which is priced at $199.99.

To qualify for the discount, consumers must buy a new Windows 7 PC between Saturday, June 2 and Jan. 31 of next year. They will have until Feb. 28, 2013, to download the Windows 8 Pro upgrade. The offer is available in 131 markets.

The maximum number of new Windows 7 PCs a consumer can buy as part of the program is five. Windows 7 editions that qualify for the offer are Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate. That leaves out of this offer's scope Windows 7 Starter, which is the most basic for consumers, and Windows 7 Enterprise, which is designed for workplace PCs.

However, customers don't need to apply the Windows 8 upgrade to the corresponding Windows 7 PC they bought during the offer period. If they have an older PC running, for example, Windows XP, they can opt to leave Windows 7 on the new PC and upgrade the old one to Windows 8 using the upgrade download.

Microsoft hasn't given a specific date for shipping Windows 8, but the company said Thursday that if the testing and development process continues at its current pace, the OS should be available for this holiday shopping season.

Microsoft has done similar programs to this one for previous Windows upgrades, but a change this time around is that the company will be in charge of the redemption process, meaning it will verify eligibility, handle payments, deliver the software and provide support. Previously, OEMs and other third parties were involved in the process.

For its fourth fiscal quarter, which ends June 30, Microsoft plans to defer revenue recognition of between US$450 million and $550 million as part of the program. The revenue recognition deferral will not impact cash flows from operations, according to the company.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?