Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Microsoft opens registration for the Windows 8 Upgrade Program

If you've been wondering when registration for Microsoft's $14.99 program would go live, the answer is: now. Microsoft opened registration for the Windows 8 upgrade program on Tuesday. The program officially began on June 2.

Visitors to the Windows 8 Upgrade Offer site can now select their country of residence and begin the registration process.

Notably, in the past Microsoft offered a free upgrade path for buyers in a similar situation: buying a new Windows PC in a timeframe near a new Windows version release. However, since Windows 8 will only have two retail versions, Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro, Microsoft decided to charge $14.99 as it allows even those upgrading from the most basic version of Windows 7 to upgrade for a nominal fee.

Microsoft has bet a lot on Windows 8 and its connection to Windows Phone 8. As such, Microsoft wants widespread adoption, and announced earlier that general - not new PC - upgrades for users of Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 would be priced at $39.99.

To register on the upgrade site, visitors first enter their country of origin. Microsoft will then ask for your personal details and information about the new PC, including date of purchase, retailer, and PC brand and model. You'll also need your 25-digit Windows 7 product key.

On Oct. 26, Microsoft will begin sending out promotion codes via email. To upgrade your PC, you will go to Windows.com, where you will see the $39.99 price for general upgrades. You will enter the promo code on the confirmation page to received the $14.99 price.

In addition to the registration site going live on Tuesday, it was reported that standalone copies of Windows 8 will cost $69.99 at launch, a price that will jump to $199 after Jan. 31, 2013. That pricing has yet to be confirmed by Microsoft.

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