Windows 8 could be cheapest yet, due to no retail option

We already reported on the special offer that will allow anybody to upgrade from the Release Preview, as long as you have "an underlying license for either Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7" for a mere $39.99.

Now, new information has come to light that could please a lot more people if true. According to a new rumor straight from Microsoft’s insiders, Paul Thurrot and Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft could be doing away with full retail media altogether for the Windows 8 release and instead, offer just two packages:

  • Windows Upgrade Digital Download ($39.99) + DVD (an extra $15)
  • Windows 8 System Builder Kit (OEM)

The Windows 8 System Builder Kit (OEM) is the version you would buy if you're building your own system, so technically that would qualify as the "full version", an upgrade version would fall under the license requirements outlined at the top of this article.

Thurrot went on to say that "there's normally a full version of Windows, but maybe not anymore [and] that would be great!" he also said that although the limited promotion is $39.99, the upgrade price has yet to be confirmed; but Thurrot hopes that Microsoft could extend it and make it permanent.

It's also worth pointing out that Steve Ballmer already pledged to attack Apple in all areas of their business; offering a cheaper way to upgrade or obtain Windows would align itself a little more with Mac OS X pricing.

If we compare the previous version of Windows pricing we get:

  • Windows 7 Professional (OEM): $134.99
  • Windows 7 Professional (Retail): $299.99

A significant, and welcome change if it goes ahead.

Would this sway some people to bite the bullet and upgrade? We think so, but feel free to leave your comments below.

Via: Insideris
Source: Windows Weekly (Episode 269: Mail-Order Lemmings)

Updated with corrections. One reader rightly pointed out that the rumor is that there will be no "full version" retail option, a boxed upgrade version will still be made available.

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