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 Windows.com once Windows 8 is generally available .
In addition, Mary Jo Foley confirmed that with Microsoft.
“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
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…