The download of Windows 8 Consumer Preview was made available on 29th February 2012. Since this is a beta product, it can be used free of charge for a period of about one year. Windows 8 Consumer Preview will expire on 15th January 2013. So you can use Windows 8 CP for one year for free. After that, people will need to purchase Windows 8 because Windows 8 final would have been released by then. There is no word from Microsoft about how much Windows 8 will cost. There are four editions of Windows 8 which will cost differently.
According to Cnet, the people who purchase Windows 7 PCs during this summer will get special coupons which will allow them to upgrade to Windows 8 for just $14.99. Others will need to purchase Windows 8 on a much bigger price tag. Here’s the screenshot shared by Cnet:
If you plan to purchase Windows 7 Home Basic or higher during this summer, be sure that you will be able to get a Windows 8 Pro license just for $14.99. This offer will start with the release of Windows 8 Release Preview and last until January 2013 when the beta expires.
In addition to Windows 8 upgrade offer, Microsoft will also provide upgrade packs providing Windows 8 Pro and Media Center capabilities. According to Winsupersite:
In addition to this PC upgrade offer, Microsoft will also provide in-the-box upgrades to Windows 8 users in the form of upgrade “packs” that provide Windows 8 Pro and Windows Media Center capabilities. These upgrade packs replace the old Windows Anywhere Upgrade system and will be available through a new interface called Add Features to Windows 8. No word yet on the upgrade cost for these packs.
Although this news hasn’t been confirmed but hopefully will be confirmed with more details from Microsoft and will come as a good news to new PC owners with Windows 7 PC.
Update: Microsoft has finally officially announced the availability of Windows 8 upgrade in $14.99. This offer is only valid for people who will buy a computer with Windows 7 pre-installed between 2nd June 2012 to 31st January 2013. This offer is called “Windows step-up offer”. According to theVerge:
Microsoft Store customers who participate in the Windows 8 Pro upgrade offer will also be invited to exclusive workshops to learn more about Windows 8. Microsoft will also supply a $20 Microsoft Store gift card in exchange for attendance at one of its planned workshops. With the free Windows 8 Pro offer available for PCs running Windows 7 Home Basic or above, we’d expect this offer to be popular over the back-to-school and holiday periods.