Microsoft announced Windows upgrade price increases for its US customers on Friday. The price increases, are set to come into force on 1st February 2013, when a three month introductory promotion ends. On that date a Windows 8 Pro upgrade will increase in price from $39.99 to $199. There is no word as yet on UK pricing but if it’s in line with the US hike expect the Windows 8 Pro upgrade to jump from the current £24.99 to around £125!
Here’s the whole range of increases announced by Brandon LeBlanc on Microsoft’s Windows Blog:
- The Windows 8 Pro upgrade edition will be available online and at retail for $199.99 MSRP (U.S.).
- The Windows 8 upgrade edition will be available online and at retail for $119.99 MSRP (U.S.).
- The Windows 8 Pro Pack will cost $99.99 MSRP (U.S.).
- The Windows 8 Media Center Pack will cost $9.99 MSRP (U.S.).
A new Windows SKU
If you haven’t spotted it in the rundown above, there’s a new Windows SKU being launched to accompany the price increases. The more reasonably priced Windows 8 (not Pro) upgrade edition is detailed in second position within the list above. This will upgrade your current Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 installation to Windows 8. Converting the $119.99 price of the Windows 8 upgrade to UK pounds gives us a roundish figure of £75. Also of note is the fact that downloaded and boxed copies of the software will be the exact same price. Read about the differences in Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro here.
What will happen to sales now?
We heard news about Windows 8 sales figures from Microsoft less than a fortnight ago. At that time Microsoft’s Tami Reller announced that the company had sold more than 60 million licenses to date and that Windows 8 sales are following a “similar sales trajectory to what we saw with Windows 7”. Will the new Windows 8 pricing strategy stick a spanner in the works?
Computerworld raises an interesting point about the upgrade prices. An analyst is quoted saying that the current upgrade cycle is more about hardware, touch screens perhaps, so Microsoft offering cheap upgrades to Windows 8 is counter-productive in that respect.
Whatever the reasons, if you do intend to upgrade an existing XP, Vista of Windows 7 machine to Windows 8, it’s best to do so soon.