Microsoft to sell Windows 8 upgrade for just $40

Meanwhile, criticism of the software giant's next operating system mounts.

By Benzinga Jul 3, 2012 10:35AM

By Louis Bedigian

Microsoft (MSFT) has announced that it will offer Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 users the opportunity to upgrade their operating systems to the new Windows 8 Pro for $39.99, according to Computerworld. Windows 8 Pro is the most advanced version of the upcoming operating system. 

Due for release before the end of the year, Windows 8 features two prominent changes, including Metro, a tablet-friendly tile-based menu that shows all of the user's programs. Windows 8 will also be the first Windows operating system to remove the Start button.

Consumers who purchase a new Windows 7 PC today can upgrade to Windows 8 for $14.99.

Earlier this year, Apple (AAPL) announced that it would allow customers who purchased a qualifying Mac system to upgrade to Mountain Lion for free when it is released in July. Other Mac users will be charged $19.99 for the upgrade.

Bloggers and tech reporters have been critical of both operating systems. Business Insider does not think that Apple should charge a dime for Mountain Lion, which reportedly lacks the level of changes that typically accompany an OS X upgrade.

Currently, retailers are struggling to maintain stock of the next-gen MacBook Pro, which has reportedly beaten all sales expectations.

When it comes to Microsoft, The Verge published a lengthy critique of the software company's highly anticipated operating system. In "What is wrong with Metro and Windows 8?" the writer lists desktop, mouse and keyboard problems, that include search, hot corners and even scrolling issues.

In March, a former Microsoft employee launched a Fix Windows 8 campaign to encourage Microsoft to improve the operating system before it is released. His complaints include hidden choices and functions, as well as lack of controls on Metro apps.

Microsoft has not announced the official shipping date of Windows 8, but there have been several reports that point to an October 2012 release, giving Best Buy (BBY) and Amazon (AMZN) plenty of time to stock up on Windows 8 PCs for the holiday shopping season. It remains to be seen how consumers respond to the new Windows 8.

More from Benzinga
Jul 3, 2012 12:51PM
Reading the Verge critique was a total waste of time. If you don't want your cheese moved then stay with Windows 95, 2000, XP, Vista or 7. You have that choice. If you want to experience a new Windows methaphor for both classic desktop and Metro apps buy a new W8 device with a touch based screen. As normally occurs with major changes, Windows 8.2, 8.5 and 8.8 will be better and better.
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