Windows 8 Release Preview users eligible for $40 RTM upgrade, require past license

It recently came to light that the upgrade from previous versions of Windows to Windows 8 Pro would cost just $39.99 until January 31, 2013; a surprising bargain considering previous upgrades cost more than $100. With the deal, anyone can upgrade their copy of Windows XP, Vista or 7 to the full version of Windows 8 Pro. A physical upgrade DVD will also be available in retailers for $69.99.

At the time of the announcement it was unclear if you would be able to upgrade from the Release Preview to the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) final version of Windows 8 for this low price, but since then it has been revealed by Mary Jo Foley that this is indeed possible. Speaking on the Windows Weekly podcast, Foley mentions that the $39.99 upgrade deal also applies for those people testing Windows 8.

...[$39.99] is also the price for people who are testing Windows 8... I just asked to make sure and they're saying yes, if you have been testing the Windows 8 Release Preview you can upgrade for the $40 too.

This means that you can effectively get a full copy of Windows 8 before January 31, 2013 for $40 by simply downloading and installing the Release Preview for free, and then upgrading to Windows 8 Pro for the low price of $39.99. That said, it is good to see Microsoft is rewarding all those who have spent time testing Windows in the months leading up to the release.

Update: Brandon LeBlanc mentions on the Microsoft blog that to upgrade from the Release Preview you need "an underlying license for either Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7". Luckily for most people, finding a Windows license from the past 11 years shouldn't be that hard, still enabling you to upgrade extremely cheaply. 

It should also be noted that those who upgrade from the Release Preview will only be able to keep their documents and files, with previously installed applications not making it through the update process. Thanks for the update, lcg, in the comments.

Via: Insideris
Source: Windows Weekly 268 | Thanks for the tip, FoxieFoxie

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48 Comments

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What about dual booters? Just last year, I bought my notebook with Windows 7 HP, bought a Anytime Upgrade Key for Pro for $79 (Newegg promo). I want to dual boot Win 8 with 7, but am not going to give up my Win 7 license for it. It's only a year old, plus the extra cash for Pro.

So what am I to do about an "underlying" license? I do have TechNet licenses for use, could install 7 Ultimate beside of Pro if needed. Those licenses are Retail ones, it's just that the COA's aren't for sharing per the TechNet member terms.

Cat

"Windows 8 Release Preview users eligible for $40 RTM upgrade as long as they own a previous version of Windows"

What the hell is this for non-news?

Still not sure how this process is going to work. What if I no longer have my old product key or my new one with Release Preview...

Does anyone know the cost of the OEM copies? I presume they will be around $40 or $50, similarly priced to the upgrade price as is the case for Windows 7. Otherwise, I will have to install Windows 7 on my builds (validated with my Technet keys that I acquired when I had a subscription), then purchase an upgrade copy of Windows 8.

But then again, I might just get a Technet subscription as I want copies of Office 2013.

anyone else find this slightly amusing that like Windows Me (their last lemon) upgrading to the latest costs sweeties? Infact i think Me upgrade for 98se was £39 also.

Clearly theyre as desperate now to flog this one as they were for Me, hopefully history will repeat itself and its a way of generating cash for the real OS update (8s replacement)

(Yes I hate metro on a nontouch device, yet have been a long time supporter of MS)

Don't forget the 98SE Step-Up from 98. Those step-ups had a lower price than the regular upgrade because they only let you go from 98. Not a sign of desperation. Now, on the other hand, they're letting users jump all the way from XP to 8. Why? There are two good reasons:

1. So developers can more quickly turn their attention to the WinRT platform not supported by XP/Vista/7.
2. So Microsoft can make up profit lost on the discount with App Store revenue.

They want to push this as hard as they did with 3.1>95. They want the masses to say "well now that you put it THAT way.... **upgrades machine**" Win8 might be a lot of things, but it's no WinME. It took me 5 minutes to figure out I didn't want that load of crap on my machine. Win8 is great performance wise... people warming up to Metro is the big challenge for MS.

Enron said,
Is my Windows 3.1 license valid for this upgrade?

sure is! you should know that snap to side won't work on your (otherwise pretty awesome) swga monitor, but you sir should not have any other issues after updating on your 386DX :-)

If the Windows OS was released in the 21st century, then yes... but if it was released in the previous millennium, you're out of luck.

So wait. Random people with a valid prior license (xp, vista, 7) can upgrade for $40

RP users witha valid prior license can upgrade for $40.

Where's the news?

Julius Caro said,
So wait. Random people with a valid prior license (xp, vista, 7) can upgrade for $40

RP users witha valid prior license can upgrade for $40.

Where's the news?

There is none! The guy who posted this got exited too fast and did not bother to check his info.

PmRd said,

There is none! The guy who posted this got exited too fast and did not bother to check his info.

We heard you the first time.

to the update: i mean really, if someone does not have one freaking licence of windows from the past 11 years is

1. a child, should have a first computer soon, cheers
2. a pirate who does not give a f__k about Windows costing $1000 or $10, free is always cheaper
3. a linux or mac user who again, should not give a f__k (but just for nitpicking it's pretty much lol that Apple gives a mission control and inverted scrolling for $30 while MS gives you a complete new generation of Windows and integrated services :-P )

Morden said,
3. a linux or mac user who again, should not give a f__k

You're forgetting about the hordes of Linux and Mac users that will want to switch to MS's latest and greatest...

Morden said,
to the update: i mean really, if someone does not have one freaking licence of windows from the past 11 years is

1. a child, should have a first computer soon, cheers
2. a pirate who does not give a f__k about Windows costing $1000 or $10, free is always cheaper
3. a linux or mac user who again, should not give a f__k (but just for nitpicking it's pretty much lol that Apple gives a mission control and inverted scrolling for $30 while MS gives you a complete new generation of Windows and integrated services :-P )

There are Mac users with Windows licenses. Have you heard of Bootcamp? Maybe Parallels?

omgben said,

There are Mac users with Windows licenses. Have you heard of Bootcamp? Maybe Parallels?

so really think that i had the intention to sum up every last living entity with total seriousness do you?
and whatever dude, if they have windows licences what's the problem...?

A decent deal, however I'd rather have the full upgrade disc. I'll be purchasing a couple of full install discs through our employee discount at work. We have an EA agreement with MS and can buy games, software, etc at discount.

PmRd said,
Oh.. so finally this whole news post is rubbish. Thanks for deceiving me!

You're welcome! Although as someone said below, you could simply find a single license from the past 11 years and use that when upgrading.

Scorpus said,

You're welcome! Although as someone said below, you could simply find a single license from the past 11 years and use that when upgrading.

*starts looking under people's laptops*

Luis Mazza said,
This is great news!
Microsoft really changed!
It's great to see this.
Thank you, Apple!

EH? Theres always been an cheaper upgrade option since Window s98 at least!

xendrome said,

So in other words, nothing has changed...

At least we know you can actually upgrade from the Release Preview

Scorpus said,

At least we know you can actually upgrade from the Release Preview

It's been known for quite a while, personally I'd delete this news post since it serves no purpose and will probably be deceiving more readers.

PmRd said,
It's been known for quite a while, personally I'd delete this news post since it serves no purpose and will probably be deceiving more readers.
You'll probably see your comment deleted and then the news updated like they did for the death of WHS.

Figure 8 Dash said,
Now I really need to get around to installing the Release Preview

Yeah, I have to upgrade my computer to the Release Preview as well. I upgraded my parents' computers to it, but didn't get around to upgrading mine (go figure)! lol

Pajter said,
Holy crap, MS is really going all in on this one! I can't possibly say no to that offer.

Like I said before, blame the poor economy.

*Because* the economy (globally - it's not just the developed world this time) is in rotten shape, if Microsoft wants consumers (mainly, 8 is consumer focused, as opposed to corporate-focused) to get off their duffs and upgrade, it has to be extremely compelling in terms of price - a $40 upgrade to Windows 8 Pro is *easily* the cheapest upgrade Microsoft has ever offered for Windows (any version) since Windows 3.1.

Pajter said,
Holy crap, MS is really going all in on this one! I can't possibly say no to that offer.

Just watch me say NO.

Windows 8 is crap. Microsoft know it, and are trying to bribe a lot of people with a low price so they can tell the world how successful it is, and how large the takeup is.

FAIL Microsoft FAIL!

Yay!!!!! What a great move by Microsoft! I still expect the full version of Windows 8 to be quite cheap since it's going to be backed by the Windows Store

So if you enter the key from the RP when you buy from the upgrade store it will let you buy an upgrade version? A pretty interesting move here from Microsoft, I guess they're pushing Windows 8 pretty hard.

Javik said,
So if you enter the key from the RP when you buy from the upgrade store it will let you buy an upgrade version?

It's not clear at this stage if you need to enter a key before you purchase. You might simply just have to run the upgrade assistant from inside the Release Preview

Scorpus said,

It's not clear at this stage if you need to enter a key before you purchase. You might simply just have to run the upgrade assistant from inside the Release Preview

They might do a system scan. You might have to buy the full version from within windows 8

Javik said,
So if you enter the key from the RP when you buy from the upgrade store it will let you buy an upgrade version? A pretty interesting move here from Microsoft, I guess they're pushing Windows 8 pretty hard.

No it won't. It will only allow you to upgrade if you have an "underlying license" which probably means that the previous version that you had must be eligible for upgrade. Perhaps you will be required to enter the license information of the previous version, or if you upgraded earlier, Windows 8 installer will detect the earlier license all by itself. That remains to be seen.

Javik said,
So if you enter the key from the RP when you buy from the upgrade store it will let you buy an upgrade version? A pretty interesting move here from Microsoft, I guess they're pushing Windows 8 pretty hard.

basically its 40 dollars untill you can install the release preview.