January 21st, 2013, 21:08 PM
Microsoft to raise Windows 8 upgrade prices by 5X
Microsoft on Friday announced Windows 8 upgrade price increases of as much as 400% that will take effect Feb. 1, when a three-month promotional discount ends.
The current $39.99 deal for a Windows 8 Pro upgrade expires in less than two weeks, on Jan. 31. At that point, higher prices similar or identical to those for Windows 7 will move into place, Microsoft spokesman Brandon LeBlanc confirmed Friday.
An upgrade from XP, Vista or Windows 7 to Windows 8 Pro will cost $199.99 starting Feb. 1, LeBlanc said, a five-fold increase. The Windows 8 Pro Pack, which upgrades a copy of Windows 8 -- the edition installed on most consumer PCs -- to the more capable Windows 8 Pro, will run $99.99, a 43% jump from the promotional price of $69.99.
Microsoft will also add a new SKU to the mix that upgrades XP, Vista or Windows 7 to Windows 8, not the Pro edition. The price: $119.99.
The Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro upgrade prices are identical to the suggested list prices for Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Professional upgrades, but the Pro Pack's $99.99 is 11% higher than what Microsoft charged for the "Anytime Upgrade" from Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional.
The prices were not surprising, as numerous retailers had long cited the after-discount costs for Windows 8 Pro and Pro Pack. The only real news was the availability of a Windows 8 upgrade, something that Microsoft had previously declined to confirm.
LeBlanc also noted that download and boxed copy prices were the same, a pricing practice Microsoft has used before.