In what can be described as a pretty stunning move, Microsoft are allowing beta testers (millions of them) to upgrade to the final version of Windows 8 for $40.

Computerworld has confirmed the upgrade offer with Microsoft officials who said testers would be able to get the $40 price through once Windows 8 is generally available .

In addition, Mary Jo Foley confirmed that with Microsoft.

Their response:

“Computerworld got it right. Assuming the customer had a previous version of Windows installed before Release Preview, they’ll be able to upgrade from the Release Preview. They won’t need to reinstall the previous version to do the upgrade; they can just upgrade on top of the Release Preview.”

That little caveat is interesting since a lot of people did fresh installs on blank hard drives.

In addition, Windows Communication Manager Brandon Leblanc added:

“(P)eople can move from the Windows 8 Release Preview to Windows 8 Pro using the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant and will only have the options to migrate their personal files or keep nothing at all when upgrading. People moving from the Windows 8 Release Preview will need to make sure you have an underlying license for either Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7.”

This is a pretty cool move that gets a thumbs up from me.

It does several things:

  • Takes price off the table for a lot of Windows 8 dissenters
  • Reduces piracy in many countries
  • Makes it easier for testers to go straight to RTM

Well played.

Mary Jo Foley does point out that we don’t know what the final non-upgrade price will be but based on this first step, it seems to me that Microsoft is going to give this puppy away almost for free.

To be continued…


About the Author

Onuora Amobi is the Founder and VP of Digital Marketing at Learn About The Web Inc. Onuora has more than a decade of information security, project management and management consulting experience. He has specialized in the management and deployment of large scale ERP client/server systems.

In addition to being a former Microsoft MVP and the founder and editor of, he is the CEO of a Pasadena based online marketing education startup - Learn About The Web Inc. ( and The Redmond Cloud (

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  1. So in this case who buys a non-upgrade version? Everyone installs the RP and enjoys the upgrade for only 40 bucks.

  2. Robert Rooks / July 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm /Reply

    this product is going to be more of a loser than vista the price is right but the product is still not ready for prime time based on my experience

    • I’ve heard that too…

      • Yada Yada Yada / July 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm /Reply

        So?  I have heard the opposite.  Does that make the count 1:1 now?

        Straw-man arguments and comments are not relevant.

    • Yada Yada Yada / July 6, 2012 at 5:11 pm /Reply

      Completely disagree.  Windows 8 is easy to use on a desktop computer.  Instead of spewing your “gut feeling”, why not tell us exactly what is wrong with it.. without silly humor.

      Define loser.  Vista has sold more copies than OS X.  Does that make OS X a loser?  Of course not.

    • Yes, please tell us your experiences, because my experiences have been quite the opposite. I have a 6 year old Vista laptop that I was going to mothball. I had planned to build a replacement machine and wanted to know if I should install 7 or wait for 8. I decided to try 8 on the laptop. I read all the horror stories. But having happily used the horrid Windows Vista for years, I knew better than to listen too much to the bad. After installing Consumer Preview, I felt like I was using a brand new computer and extended the life of the laptop, Release Preview was even better. From the beginning, I was able to find everything pretty quickly, but it took me a couple weeks before I was able to master everthing so it felt natural. The power is all there. Everything is in a different place but mostly well thought out. Not without complaints mind you, Metro has a tendency to become messy, some autohousekeeping would be nice. But I can unequivicably say, Windows 8 is the best OS MS has ever created, bar none. I would, however, caution Windows 7 users to see if the benefits outweigh their reaction to change, but all other OS should be ditched ASAP.

  3. I am still baffled at how bitter people are towards windows 8. This takes the phrase “People hate change” to all new levels. I have been using windows 8 rc as my primary OS for a while and yes, some things are different, but I learn how it is done with their new OS and it usually turns out not being a big deal. I am going to make the assumption that the dissenters are people that tried W8 once, maybe stumbled on the some of the tasks they are use to and because of that one experience they already cast it as crap.

    • I am right there with you. Windows 8 is different, but that is the point. Now, I dont want to go back. Just seeing a Windows XP screen gives me nighmares. Makes me think of going back to windows 95.
      What always gets my goat is the saying, “Windows 8 is only for touchscreen and sucks with a regular mouse and keyboard.” Whenever I hear this, I know the person has either never touched windows 8 or have not given it a fair shake.

  4. Probably figure 40.00 bucks is all the dud is worth.

  5. If the product key underneath my laptop is almost erased. where do I stand in the upgrade process???????. I do have release preview on it right now.
    love windows 8.

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