Microsoft has been quiet about pricing for its upcoming Windows 8 tablet – the Surface. But we know even less about the Windows 8 operating system itself. Sure, upgrading to Windows 8 from an existing Windows system will cost $40 – but how much will it cost for the full ‘Pro’ version of Windows 8?
According to recent rumors, Windows 8 Pro will cost $199. But here’s the catch: it will only cost $199 after January 31, 2013. Before that point, Windows 8 will be priced at a $69.99 promotional price.
The January 31, 2013 date is significant because that’s the point where users can no longer upgrade to Windows 8 from an existing Windows installation for just $39.99. After that point, Windows upgrade users will have to pay the full Windows 8 price.
So what’s the point of offering a product for $69.99 before tripling its price a few months later? That seems like a hefty price to pay for a promotion, but I guess Microsoft wants users to jump on its operating system early. When users hear that Windows 8 will bump up to a price of $199 a few months from now, they’ll realize that they can purchase a valuable product at a subsidized cost today, a point that Microsoft hopes will fuel sales.
It’s also important to note that Windows 8 will only cost $14.99 to those who purchased a Windows 7 PC between June 2, 2012 and October 26 (the release date for Windows 8). That promotion will also end on January 31.
The price point was mentioned in an article on Verve, which cited a source close to the matter. The article also suggests that Microsoft will give users the ability to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro for $69.99.
Ultimately, we know little about Windows 8 pricing. If Microsoft wants to manage the unrealistic expectations of consumers, then it needs to announce its pricing plans soon. Or else, some people are going to see a headline like “Windows 8 will cost $200” and then never consider buying the operating system again.