Windows 8 is set to come out later this fall. But PC users (many of whom just upgraded to Windows 7), might not jump on the Windows 8 bandwagon in droves.
Windows 8 is Microsoft’s first tablet-centric operating system. With its unique Metro UI and lack of Windows Media Center, it’s a bit of a change from previous versions of Windows. Microsoft has even announced that Windows 8 will not feature one of Windows’ most classic icons: the Start menu button.
For all of these reasons, Windows 8 looks like it will largely appeal to tablet users. With new touch-screen devices like the Microsoft Surface being released around the same time as Windows 8, Microsoft clearly sees tablets as an important part of the computing world’s future.
So how does Microsoft plan to lure existing Windows users into making the jump to Windows 8? Well, how about a $39.99 upgrade package? And how about making that upgrade available to users of Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7?
That’s right: making the jump to a new Windows operating system has never been this cheap before, nor has it ever been extended that far back. After all, Windows XP is over ten years old, and users of that operating system had pretty much given up hope of getting a discount on any new version of Windows.
The $39.99 upgrade package will get you Windows 8 Pro – which is actually a step above the basic version of Windows 8. So Microsoft isn’t just letting upgrading its loyal users to the most barebones Windows 8 package.
Furthermore, if you purchase a Windows 7 based PC today, an upgrade will only cost you $15. Granted, in previous years, Microsoft has given away operating system upgrades for free on recently purchased versions of previous operating systems. But still, $15 is a good deal for an upgrade with radical changes like Windows 8.
Worried about Windows 8 running on your 10-year old Windows XP PC? You might be surprised at how few resources Windows 8 requires in order to run. The 32-bit version of the operating system (which is all that a 10-year old PC would be able to run) requires a measly 1GB of RAM and 1GHz of processing power. At those levels, even a 5 or 10 year old PC should be able to run Windows 8.
Do you think you’ll upgrade to Windows 8 when it comes out later this year? What do you think of Microsoft’s decision to allow Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 users to upgrade to Windows 8 for $40? Let us know what you think in the comments!