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back to article Microsoft sets the price for a Windows 8 upgrade at $40

For all those customers who can’t wait to enjoy Windows 8’s Metro UI, Microsoft has announced pricing and availability of an upgrade package for users of previous versions of Windows. Customers running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 will be able to purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 for $39.99 during a promotional period …

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More important

What is the cost of an upgrade from Win8 to XP?

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Re: More important

Dunno - how much is it to upgrade a Troll like you to a normal person?

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Anonymous Coward

If they were offering to pay me $40 to upgrade from 7 to 8 it still wouldn't be a tempting offer

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Anonymous Coward

Serious question, as I haven't used Windows 8. Why don't people like it? Isn't it just Windows 7 with a metro interface for tablets?

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Anonymous Coward

a mouse is not a proxy for a finger.

The short version is that a mouse is not a proxy for a finger.

The slightly longer version, after trying the preview version on a desktop machine for a few days, is that MS is clearly trying to leverage their presence on the desktop as a way to break into the smartphone market. They've failed at least twice before.

They are clearly betting if they can get people used to a mobile interface at home, that those same people will be clamoring for the same interface on their mobs.

Nice try, but it isn't going to work. As soon as I loaded it I thought it had Vista/ME written all over it.

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Boffin

Because they were expecting Windows 7+1, in the same way that most of the Vista-hate was because people expected XP+1. Windows 8 takes a little getting used to. I can pretty much guarantee that if somebody's complaining about it, they used it for less than a week though.

Everyone who sticks with it for a week or more seems to hate the idea of switching back. Personally, I started using Win8 with the Consumer Preview and kept a WIn7 partition because... because. And mostly used Win7. With the Release Preview, I stuck more and more in Win8 and... on Sunday deleted the 7 partition.

Reviewers don't like it? Of course they don't. They install it, use it for an hour, complain about it, write a review.

Reg commenters don't like it? Reg commenters will take any possible excuse to bash Microsoft and there's a substantial portion of them that wants the company to go broke for some imagined slight or another so they just read a bad review and delight in crowing about how Microsoft will fail.

Me? I use it. I don't think it's awesome or amazing or fantabulous or anything. I think the Metro launcher works, I think the rest of the OS is a substantial upgrade on Windows 7. It's not Jesus-Tech. It's okay. Pretty good, actually.

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Anonymous Coward

'I can pretty much guarantee that if somebody's complaining about it, they used it for less than a week though.'

Great, so I'm supposed to struggle along with features I hate for a week, all the time losing productivity?

I jumped from XP to 7 and was using the machine in minutes after the install, I don't need a new UI, the one I have is fine thanks, I don't need my desktop to pretend to be any kind of tablet either, if you want Fisher Price kiddy 'pooters then have at it.

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@dogged

The thing is....

I've used it for about a week, week and a half and...I don't see any benefit from the Metro UI. It gets in my way. I don't want to have to be searching constantly in the UI's menu to find what would previously have already been neatly organised, I don't want to have to use a mouse to clumsily shift around an interface that would quite probably be great if I had a touch interface, and I haven't seen anything else that's enough of an improvement from Win7 to bother switching.

The UI can't be the only change, but I've not seen anything else that makes upgrading on existing hardware worthwhile. If I was buying a new, touch-enabled computer, hands down Win8 would be on there. As is, on my existing machines, I don't think I want to go anywhere near it.

In saying that, I remember this happening with XP too - the first year it was released it was a horrible Fisher-Price looking unstable load of wang, without any compelling benefits over Win2k. Once SP1 landed and sorted the stability issues (not to mention making USB2 properly native, along with a couple of other things) the upgrade path started to look clearer.

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Anonymous Coward

In short

It's a desktop OS hobbled with a smartphone UI.

They want a consistent interface and windows manager, so they can sell you lots of apps to replace what you already have (as they won't work in Metro), so they have hobbled the desktop version.

They have also mad "bad old windows" as crap as they could to try and force you to use Metro.

I wouldn't use it, if they paid me $400.

Sorry, after seeing the last preview, "i'm out"...

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Anonymous Coward

It disadvantages the traditional Windows PC style user in favour of tablets. You can't really disable the new UI either.

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They know it's crap

It's way cheaper then the price they charged for the pre-order special for Win7.

But still not tempting.

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Re: In short

"I wouldn't use it, if they paid me $400."

If they paid me $400 I'd add another $200 or so and get myself a Mac Mini. :-)

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"Serious question, as I haven't used Windows 8. Why don't people like it?"

At the risk of sounding facetious, because they haven't tried it either. Software that works on Win8 should overwhelmingly work on WIn8. Multi-monitor support is actually improved on the Win8 desktop. The only thing that is really *missing* is the Start menu. For some people that appears to be reason for cries of anguish. Having been using it for a bit, it's no big deal imo. I counted up the programs I use regularly - came to 20. And I reckon that's significantly more than the average user. Even on my laptop twenty icons sit comfortably on my Metro screen. On a Desktop, they take up about half the screen (and that's with double-sized icons included). Compared to a hierarchical Start menu it is actually demonstrably quicker to use Metro to launch most things. Some people don't like it much and that's their privilege, but it's hardly a big annoyance unless you allow yourself to build up some towering resentment at change. On the other hand, some people seem to actively want MS products to have problems and thus it has become a rallying cry to celebrate. I don't know why. Operating Systems are not football teams.

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Re: @dogged

"I don't want to have to use a mouse to clumsily shift around an interface that would quite probably be great if I had a touch interface"

With respect, if you're using the Mouse, you're already not a power user on the Desktop. When I want something, I typically hit the Windows key and type the first letter or two of the program I want to start. Faster than a mouse.For that reason alone, Metro has a greater appeal to me as on Win8, that key-type search brings up the result faster than the Start menu does (same hardware, I dual-boot). Also with respect, there's only so much you can pin onto the Start menu (about ten programs) with the rest having to be reached via sub-folders. On a Desktop, my Metro page has about twenty applications on the first page (and I can drag anything from the extended page on the first page very easily if I want it on there). In usage, I actually find using the Mouse with Metro faster too. There's enough other good stuff in Win8 that even if Metro was a minus to me, it's such a small one that it wouldn't stop me. Anyway, just my take on it. Downvoters will disagree. ;)

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Re: @h4rm0ny

Adding a couple of things:

Boot time. Windows 8 is much faster than WIndows 7 in boot from cold hardware. I can scarcely imagine what a some of the future devices I will get my mitts on with SSD will do.

Battery life. I have heard from other testers that it is better. My test machine is pretty efficient anyway, and I have not run it all the way down yet.

Tablet and desktop. People whine this is a problem, but after a few months of use it is something I really like now. Key point here is the ability to run classic applications and drive them with a mouse for finer work.

Metro convergence. This is something that is hard to explain. It is not as good as Windows Phone, but the last release is getting there. All the information presented in one spot without having to launch a unique vendor App. If I click on the Contacts or Pictures hub, I have access to Facebook friends and photos as well as my own Photos stored locally..and it is presented cleanly and in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

Tip for folks that complain about not knowing how to start: If you don't feel like lifting your finger to swipe the logon screen up, then you can click the mouse button once to reveal logon.

There is more, but I remember the exact same reaction here on El Reg to Windows 7 when I was talking about how good it was before RTM. Gloom and doom about another Vista. Next release of Windows will see the same cycle. "WHY DO I NEED WINDOWS 9!? I am perfectly happy with Metro."

Guess we will see if customers buy it...there is the test.

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Re: @dogged

@h4rm0ny:

The thing is, I use a bunch of different packages on my machines, varying from some which are in near-daily-use and pinned to the taskbar to the ones that see use maybe once or twice a month. What I've found is that installing them to the Metro UI gives me either a condensed menu largely populated with stuff I don't want (seriously, I ended up with shortcuts to bloody Windows runtimes in there but not stuff I specifically want to use! That's just stupid, and if it's happening with MS' own runtimes there's hardly reason to believe everyone else will do better, is there?) or a full menu so bloody big and full of stuff I don't need and won't use that I'm typing more to narrow down to the selection I wanted than it would take even a slowpoke to move the mouse to the right place. Yes, I could "fix" the start page, but if the big selling point for a new OS is a redesigned UI where I'm going to keep having to correct for the UI's bloody awful method for selecting what bits of software it thinks I want to use then I'm not interested. As for the "start typing to find it" - I already do that for certain bits of software, but for a number of them even the better-than-Vista indexing in 7 doesn't correctly find at least half the stuff I want (thinking instead I want to call up the installation package that I have stashed somewhere, or any of dozens of vaguely-similarly-named media files etc) so that's not a goer either.

Beyond that, though...I think it's an exceptionally stupid idea to take a Windows UI that already has problems when it comes to certain configuration functions being hard-to-find, and incorporate several active corners that aren't labelled in any way. I'm not opposed to change that improves workflow, but I haven't seen any improvements to my workflow from what I've seen of Win8.

As for boot times...TBH I mostly use hibernation anyway, so cold-boot times are much less of an issue for me than they may be for some. I see them as kind of irrelevant these days anyway, because the best thing you can do to get a faster boot time is to use an SSD as your primary drive...

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What about he secure boot?

Doesn't this require a secure boot bios? Am I supposed to replace my motherboard to use this $40 upgrade?

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Re: What about he secure boot?

In the sample photo, that was an informational message. In the sample photo, what it is saying is that the Secure Boot feature is not available on the sample computer because the sample computer's hardware does not support it.

It is not saying Windows 8 can't be installed, just that that one feature won't work because of lack of hardware support.

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But why go to Windows 8 on a desktop or laptop?

Better to go to Windows 7 and stay there. Upgrading to Windows 7 from XP makes sense, even at regular price.

Upgrading to an unproven operating system that reviewers have complained about doesn't make sense at any price.

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Re: What about he secure boot?

I think secure boot is only required on Windows RT installations.

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Re: What about he secure boot?

" But why go to Windows 8 on a desktop or laptop?"

I really want to go to Windows 7, but MS wants a £200 upgrade fee from me to do it. I can stomach $40 a bit more.

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Re: What about he secure boot?

"I really want to go to Windows 7, but MS wants a £200 upgrade fee from me to do it. I can stomach $40 a bit more."

For £200 you could almost buy a new computer with Win7 pre-installed.

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@Bristol Bachelor

That's mad. For £130 you can get a Technet subscription which includes licenses for and free downloads of all Microsoft's non-developer software in all versions. A renewal is £99. Nobody should be spending £200 on an upgrade.

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Re: What about he secure boot?

Windows licenses include downgrade rights. You can purchase this for $40 and then just install Windows 7

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Re: What about he secure boot?

"I really want to go to Windows 7, but MS wants a £200 upgrade fee from me to do it. I can stomach $40 a bit more."

That's nonsense. Even if you wanted Win7 Ultimate (and Pro ought to be fine for most users), it costs £155 on Amazon for the full boxed, non-OEM retail version. How on earth did you get to £200? Or did you omit to say you're talking about multiple machines. But then the $40 part wouldn't make sense.

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Re: What about he secure boot?

"How on earth did you get to £200?"

They did say *Microsoft" wanted 200 quid off them for the upgrade, and 200 quid (give or take one shiny new penny) is exactly how much Microsoft will take off you for the privilege of buying a Win 7 Ultimate *upgrade* from them directly...

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Linux

I upgraded from Win 7 to openSUSE...

...and saved $40 per machine.

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Re: I upgraded from Win 7 to openSUSE...

And how are your games running?

That is the thing, with Windows products they work with games and you don't have to mess around finding drivers.

My time is money and free is too expensive to save $40 if it costs me an extra hour.

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Happy

Re: And how are your games running?

Just fine, thanks. Installing openSUSE on various desktops and netbooks here has had zero impact on my PS3.

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Linux

Re: I upgraded from Win 7 to openSUSE...

The whole games for Linux thing is on the improve. Valve is releasing Steam on Linux in the next few weeks. Now this does not mean every Steam game will start working on Linux but it is a start.

Gabe Newell (Valve) is gung-ho about Linux + games so maybe we will see less platform dependence in gaming some time in the future, which has to be a good thing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I upgraded from Win 7 to openSUSE...

Ok.. o we all need a PC for games. Something must be wrong with me but I have not played a PC game in almost 20 years and its not because I have been using lynx almost exclusively for that long.

Regarding drivers. Drivers is a windows problem. Last PC I build assembly an install took just under 40 minutes. And yes all hardware including my printer was properly detected and installed. The only drivers I have installed in the past TEN years are NVIDIA and last week I had to download and instal drivers for a ZEBRA label printer because somehow it is not included with CUPS anymore.

It is just annoying every time I hear someone make this comment about drivers. It was relevant in 1996 when I started using Linux. It has not relevance today.

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Linux

Re: I upgraded from Win 7 to openSUSE...

I am running Ubuntu on 3 computers and I haven't had any problems with drivers. As far as Metro is concerned, I guess I can't play all the games that Windows can, but then I don't have to log into Windows live to play solitaire on my Ubuntu machines

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Coat

Re: And how are your games running?

Indeed, for some stupid reason I could not get my games to work at all on Windows...

I'd double click the .deb, and it'd ask me what application I wanted to open it in...

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Re: I upgraded from Win 7 to openSUSE...

"and you don't have to mess around finding drivers."

7 recent Linux installs - NO drivers needed

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Re: I upgraded from Win 7 to openSUSE...

"It is just annoying every time I hear someone make this comment about drivers. It was relevant in 1996 when I started using Linux. It has not relevance today."

Sorry to bring you back from wonderland but yes, drivers in Linux are still of relevance today. You may not notice if you use common mainstream hardware or older stuff that is well supported under Linux but drivers are definitely an issue in Linux. For example, your beloved Nvidia drivers are binary drivers which need to fit to the kernel version you're running. Update the kernel and you may end up loosing graphics. This can be avoided by using the nouveau drivers instead, but they are well behind the binary drivers in terms of support of functionality and performance. And this is not the only area where drivers are an issue in Linux.

Most distro's offer to download and install proprietary drivers like the Nvidia driver for you, and together with the stuff supported by open source drivers included in the kernel it may look to you that drivers are a non-issue. But that is similarly true for a Windows user who uses common standard hardware and lets Windows Update find the drivers for it. But once you do more then drivers are an issue. In Windows and Linux equally.

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Anonymous Coward

Games?

Please try to understand that not everyone in the world uses computer to play silly games.

Why don't you get outside a bit more and experience the real world for a change?

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Re: Games?

Says the person posting to an IT news forum? Pot, meet kettle.

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Re: I upgraded from Win 7 to openSUSE...

Saving one hour in comparision to how many will be spent cleaning up malware and viruses doesn't sound like a good deal.

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Re: I upgraded from Win 7 to openSUSE...

I've used Linux for years ( almost the beginning) on lots of hardware often with Nvidia hardware and I've NEVER had a problem when updating kernels. I've sometimes had to wait a while fort he newest hardware to be supported but that's often specific to a distro. On other occasions it was down to individual programs - so I bought a Canon D550 when it was new and had to wait ~10 days for RAW support !

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Vic
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Re: I upgraded from Win 7 to openSUSE...

> 7 recent Linux installs - NO drivers needed

I often use a Linux LiveCD to boot hardware so I can download the relevant Windows drivers & fix the Windows partition on it...

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: I upgraded from Win 7 to openSUSE...

> Update the kernel and you may end up loosing graphics.

Might I?

Wow. thanks for telling me. I'd not have known if you didn't. It's awesome what you can learn on this forum, isn't it? I'd always thought using the dependency tracking of kmod-nvidia did the job for me, but it's always good to learn new stuff.

Vic.

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WTF?

Re: Drivers

I usually don't have driver issues on Linux, but I'm having an absolute arseache finding a cheap desktop printer that "just works" on Ubuntu. Can anyone recommend one that is just plug 'n' play? It's for the parents so it really needs to be plug in, switch on and go with near-zero faffing about.

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Re: I upgraded from Win 7 to openSUSE...

You saved $40 but you didn't upgrade. For $0 you could have remained on W7.

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Re: Games?

I love a Linux fanboy suggesting someone else goes outside into the real world.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I upgraded from Win 7 to openSUSE...

And how do you think your games will run on Widows8RT?

The answer is of course, THEY WON'T, not unless you buy them again from Microsoft.

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Re: Drivers

Last laser I bought was a Samsung and it came with Linux drivers - I didn't use them as it was plug and play ( even networked Linux machines found the printer ) so it might be worth a Google.

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Headmaster

Re: Drivers

As a general rule, pretty much any HP printer should work OK. For Ubuntu-specific compatibility, check out https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HardwareSupportComponentsPrinters

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Drivers

I have a HP Laserjet 1020. It's been working fine since ubuntu 10.04, but with ubuntu 12.04 it automatically runs a downloader that pulls in the relevant HP driver support - couldn't be easier really.

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Re: Drivers

@auburnman

Our HP OfficeJet 4500 has worked flawlessly with Linux Mint 13 and Ubuntu 11.10/12.04. I set it up and put it on my network (I did do this using my Windows box and the supplied CD, but I'm confident it would just work if you plugged it in via USB), went to add a network printer in Linux and it was listed. Clicked on it, it pulled in the drivers, and that was it.

Scanning and printing work in Mint. Printing was fine in Ubuntu and I never tried scanning, but I assume it would work too.

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Re: I upgraded from Win 7 to openSUSE...

I am currently trying out openSUSE and Fedora 17, both with XFCE. I haven't yet decided which one to settle on but both have been reliable to date.

I'm not into computer games so that side of it doesn't bother me.

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Re: I upgraded from Win 7 to openSUSE...

@toadwarrior

"Saving one hour in comparision to how many will be spent cleaning up malware and viruses doesn't sound like a good deal."

Having just moved my home system to Linux I installed Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 afresh as virtual machines. Several reboots in each case just to get all the patches up to date, and each time forcing a check for new updates until done, rather than waiting for Windows .to do its own thing while not fully patched.

Applying updates to various flavours of Linux I was asked for one logout/login and possibly one reboot. Much easier and less labour intensive.

Yes I know there are ways of automating Windows installations for multiple systems, but it's a learning curve and an unwanted overhead for a home system.

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