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 …

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  1. Charles Manning

    More important

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

    1. Phoenix50
      FAIL

      Re: More important

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

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

      2. dogged
        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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.

        2. Captain Underpants
          Thumb Down

          @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.

          1. h4rm0ny

            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. ;)

            1. multipharious

              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.

            2. Captain Underpants
              Meh

              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...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        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"...

        1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          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. :-)

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

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

      5. h4rm0ny

        "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.

    2. Tom 35 Silver badge

      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.

  3. Edward Clarke
    Facepalm

    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?

    1. WatAWorld

      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.

      ---

      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.

      1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          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.

        2. dogged

          @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.

        3. venneford

          Re: What about he secure boot?

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

        4. h4rm0ny

          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.

          1. ChrisC

            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...

    2. mafoo

      Re: What about he secure boot?

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

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    I upgraded from Win 7 to openSUSE...

    ...and saved $40 per machine.

    1. WatAWorld

      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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...

      2. Goat Jam
        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.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        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.

        1. Davidoff
          FAIL

          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.

          1. Chemist

            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 !

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

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

              @Chemist - so, you've never had problems upgrading the Kernel, because you've not upgraded the Kernel when you know there will have been a problem.

              As for your assertion about drivers, the last two peripherals I purchased (a USB video grabber and a USB wireless network thingum) both didn't have linux support natively in either CentOS, Fedora or Ubuntu. One doesn't work and the other required me to download the driver and compile it myself. Neither of which are acceptable for hardware that's been on the market for well over six months.

              (Yes, they did both work on Win and Mac)

              1. Chemist

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

                "because you've not upgraded the Kernel when you know there will have been a problem."

                I don't chose to upgrade I let the update mechanisms update when necessary I don't really understand what your point is ?.

                As for none-working hardware if manufacturers chose not to provide drivers or give the necessary info then so be it . I'd always do a little research before spending any serious money.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

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

                  You seem to be changing to goalposts of what you're claiming... You said you've never had a problem upgrading Kernels, but you've had to wait for hardware support (drivers are compiled into the Kernel.) But also that you just let the automatic update mechanisms handle it for you.

                  You also say that you have never had hardware problems, forgetting to mention that you have had to research the hardware which you buy. You then begrudgingly admit this later on, but say that it's the fault of the manufacturer not providing the drivers, not the community for not having got round to it.

                  1. Chemist

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

                    Why would I manually upgrade a kernel when the update mechanism will do it and the kernel modules for me - what would be the point ? I've never had a problem upgrading kernels probably for that reason and I never claimed that I (randomly ?) upgraded kernels manually - those days are over.

                    Drivers are NOT compiled into the kernel generally - they are loaded as modules when required and have been for years - look in /lib/modules/{kernel-version}/kernel/drivers/

                    I only research NEW and expensive hardware - everything else on 7 machines of wildly varying types and ages just works - I'm sorry if that fact upsets you.

                    I build all my own except laptops and they always work.

                    It IS the fault of the manufacturers - they don't release the necessary details in many cases which means supporting new hardware is a thankless task performed by some extremely talented and hard-working individuals who I thank daily and if it takes a while for a new driver I'm prepared to wait.

          2. Vic

            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.

          3. Alan Bourke

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

            Yeah - try getting Mint to work out of the box on anything with a Broadcom wireless chipset. Y'know, those ones that every second laptop had about 4 years ago.

            1. Chemist

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

              That's what I have Broadcom 4312 on a laptop - runs fine without any probs on OpenSuse 11.4

              It's always better to check with a LiveCD of the distro if you can to spot any potential problems but I've not seen any for years

        2. auburnman
          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.

          1. Chemist

            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.

          2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
            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

          3. Anonymous Coward
            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.

          4. squilookle

            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.

            1. auburnman

              Re: Drivers

              Cheers for the replies all. I did try getting them an HP but it liked to behave erratic at best - maybe I just got a dud.

      4. henrydddd
        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

      5. Chemist

        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

        1. Vic

          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.

        2. Phoenix50
          Stop

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

          "7 recent Linux installs" - and clearly not one of those 7 had either of the following:

          Wireless Network Adapters

          NVidia Graphics

          1. Chemist

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

            On the contrary - 1 laptop, 1 netbook and 1 desktop running on wireless without ANY problems at all - the others are ethernet anyway. 1 3G dongle, 1 Epson scanner/printer, 3 serial-USB convertors, 1 Samsung laser - again NO problems. 2 built-in bluetooth and 1 USB bluetooth - no problems. 4 webcams - no problems

            2 have Nvidia graphics again no problems - one running vdpau hardware acceleration which is needed really to playback 1080p/50 video

            All are on OpenSuse 11.4 but in any case I've not had any serious problems for years

      6. Anonymous Coward
        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?

        1. DryBones
          Thumb Down

          Re: Games?

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

        2. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Games?

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

        3. Alan Bourke

          Re: Games?

          OK, what about all the silly payroll and accounts and CAD and graphics applications that real businesses in the real world use?

          Spoken as an Ubuntu and Mint user.

      7. toadwarrior

        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.

        1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

          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.

      8. Anonymous Coward
        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.

        1. h4rm0ny

          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."

          Why (or how?) would you be installing WindowsRT on a desktop or normal laptop? Are you telling me your main games machine has an ARM processor?

          Though that said, Metro games will be able to run on any Win8 device - tablet, PC, Phone 8. So the answer isn't "they wont" for a lot of lighter games that will come out, actually.

      9. Richard Plinston Silver badge

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

        > And how are your games running?

        > My time is money and free is too expensive ...

        My time is is too valuable to waste it playing games.

    2. JDX Gold badge

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

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

    3. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      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.

  5. myarse
    Boffin

    Actually I have a vista laptop as my HTPC at the mo so might be interested, this can't be any worse then vista can it people?

    Tell me please, not up for paying to go win 7 for this box that plays movies and nothing else but maybe I'd like better performance with win8?

    1. Captain Underpants

      @myarse

      TBH you'd probably be as well off looking for Windows Home Server if it's HTPC work you're after. OEM copies can be had for cheap (as in, ~£40) and I can't imagine it being more resource-heavy than Vista.

      1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

        Re: @Captain Underpants

        "Windows Home Server if it's HTPC work you're after. OEM copies can be had for cheap (as in, ~£40) and I can't imagine it being more resource-heavy than Vista."

        Yep. I got WHS 2011 for roughly that price. Although the installation insists on 160GB disk and 2GB RAM as a minimum, it happily runs on less once installed, and swiftly too. The built in backup feature has been as solid as a rock for me. You can also backup connected Windows PCs and restore them by creating a bootable USB stick and booting from that. It's all driven by simple GUI dialogues so it's pretty easy once you figure out where they are.

        There is a caveat here of course. Delete a PC from the WHS 2011 console and put it back again with the same name, and it's likely to pick up old backups on a restore.

        Good luck using the monitor with any fancy drivers or high resolution, the idea is that after the initial configuration you unplug the keyboard, monitor and mouse,. and use a separate PC running WIndows 7 to access it.. XP will work, sort of, but I couldn't get access to the WHS 2011 Dashboard from XP despite many attempts (workaround: use Remote Desktop or a KVM).

        1. Captain Underpants
          Thumb Up

          Re: @Captain Underpants

          Actually, yeah - the big gotcha with WHS 2011 will be graphics support. Given the limited support for decent resolutions on external monitors with laptop-integrated GPUs it's not a given it'll work, though IME if you've got a dedicated GPU in there (even a feeble one) you'll be fine.

          That said, I replaced an old Dell laptop with a Proliant Microserver and dropped in a cheap PCIE graphics card, then stuck WHS 2011 on it so it works as a combination NAS and HTPC, so it's not like I've tested it. Mind you, WHS 2011 is based on Server 2008 R2 so you could always download the trial of that, stick it on the hardware and see how you go.

  6. Combat Wombat
    Boffin

    So the real cost for non Win 7 users is..

    250 (win 7 licence) + 40

    So a 290 + tax upgrade ?

    Pffft no.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: So the real cost for non Win 7 users is..

      Why does a non W7 user have to buy W7 when W8 is released?

    2. cmgangrel

      Re: So the real cost for non Win 7 users is..

      +40

      According to the article the cost is the same if you run Win Xp, Vista or Win 7

      1. Combat Wombat
        Boffin

        Re: So the real cost for non Win 7 users is..

        Except there is no upgrade path from XP / Vista to Win 8.

        Well not if you don't want to completely nuke your machine.

        Sorry MS, my time is valuable, more than 40$ valuable.

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: So the real cost for non Win 7 users is..

          Except there is no upgrade path from XP / Vista to Win 8.

          Well not if you don't want to completely nuke your machine.

          Sorry MS, my time is valuable, more than 40$ valuable.As opposed to upgrading to Linux, you mean?

  7. tkioz
    Coat

    Not...

    Not a bad price, not at all... This is what companies should be doing. Good on Microsoft.

    Of course I wont be buying it, frankly the UI they are selling is an abortion!

  8. WR
    Thumb Up

    Yes...I'm that guy

    Been running Win8 preview on my home PC for 2 weeks straight now.

    Running a mix of games, social stuff and web development.

    Took about 3 hours to get use to the new "workflow", but after that everything becomes very fluid.

    Metro takes everything social and parks it under one hood where it's neat and contained.

    Desktop apps function as always and the desktop now feels like a real "work space".

    Switching between desktop and metro is visually jarring for the first few hours, mainly because metro looks very slick and a deskop looks a little 'last decade' by comparison, but after that is about the same as alt-tab in terms of annoyance.

    Launching apps and searching for local (and remote) content in metro by just typing is easy and fast.

    Starting Gimp is "Windows-Key-gim-Enter". Actually considering how much work has gone into the UI, getting tasks done with the keyboard is seriously fast and efficent. Application "contracts" are the secret sauce here.

    I've got concerns about Win8 on ARM and I'm not sure it's an enterprise os.

    But for my money at home I don't plan on looking back.

    WR

    1. Davidoff
      Holmes

      Not just you

      When I downloaded the Release Preview I wasn't expecting much, mainly because of all the negative comments on the net. But after using it for a while on the laptop I'm typing this I have to say I really like Windows 8, Getting used to it to the changes and the Metro UI (which works perfectly fine without touchscreen, thank you) took me less than an hour, and now it's installed on one of my two desktop workstation as well (one stays at W7 as long as W8 is still pre-release). There are many small improvements in Windows 8 which (at least for me) make it so much better than its predecessors. I'll definitely buy the updates for all my PCs once Windows 8 is released.

      Will WIndows 8 become the next Vista? Maybe. Vista wasn't a failure because it was a bad operating system. It became a failure because driver support by IHVs like ATI and Nvidia was atrocious (even when they had more than enough time to prepare for launch time), and because some wannabe-scientist (Peter Gutman, I'm looking at you!) published a paper with some ridiculously stupid theories about what Vista does and what not, which has been spread by an incompetent press unreflected, and has been taken up by the dumb masses as the ultimate truth. An early variant of a shitstorm. So it's still possible the same can happen to Windows 8.

      1. fung0

        Re: Not just you

        Davidoff said: "Vista wasn't a failure because it was a bad operating system. It became a failure because driver support by IHVs like ATI and Nvidia was atrocious (even when they had more than enough time to prepare for launch time), and because some wannabe-scientist (Peter Gutman, I'm looking at you!) published a paper with some ridiculously stupid theories about what Vista does and what not..."

        Davidoff, you are badly mistaken. Although Gutman was quite right to question the desirability of baking DRM into the OS, Vista was a failure not because of anything he said, but because it flat out did not work at all with many PCs, including ones that were purchased from major manufacturers with Vista installed. I've seen several myself, running so slowly that you could see windows drawing themselves on the screen. (This is on Core 2 Duo machines, from companies like HP and Toshiba.) The fact that Vista worked splendidly on SOME systems turned out not to be good enough. Go figure.

        Win8, on the other hand, will be a failure because it was designed by a committee of marketers, not by anyone with a real understanding of ergonomics, nor by anyone with any vision of design aesthetics. Nor even by anyone with any understanding of what existing Windows users (all 500,000,000 of them, by Microsoft's count) actually want in an OS. It's a two-headed monstrosity that will neither steal away the design-conscious Apple audience, nor retain the knowledgeable Windows user.

        1. WR
          Happy

          Re: Not just you

          <quote>

          Win8, on the other hand, will be a failure because it was designed by a committee of marketers not by anyone with a real understanding of ergonomics, nor by anyone with any vision of design aesthetics

          <end quote>

          Laughable:

          http://kruzeniski.com/2011/how-print-design-is-the-future-of-interaction/

          http://windowsteamblog.com/windows_phone/b/wpdev/archive/2011/02/16/from-transportation-to-pixels.aspx

        2. Davidoff
          WTF?

          Re: Not just you

          "Although Gutman was quite right to question the desirability of baking DRM into the OS"

          To question the desirability of baking DRM into the OS??? Are you kidding? You obviosuly never read his stuff. This guy must have been on crack at that time, he wrote lengthy drivels about what Vista does block and what you can't do, which were so plain silly that even someone with only basic IT understanding would have known that it was just a pile of crap. He phantasized some wild theories which clearly were not from this world and concluded that Vista can't do voice communication, will corrupt medical images because it thinks it's pirated pron, refuse to work with some monitors due to HDCP, and will block or degrade the playback of your ripped music files. Gutman deliberately cherry-picked from outdated MS white papers to support his crude theories, while supressing all contradicting evidence. He has been asked to demonstrate his claims but somehow never got around, and became nothing more than an embarrassment for every scientist working after sceintific standards.

          You should really read the crap he wrote (the original unredacted version is probably still out there somewhere), and I also recommend the debunking articles Ed Botts wrote at the time.

          "Vista was a failure not because of anything he said, but because it flat out did not work at all with many PCs, including ones that were purchased from major manufacturers with Vista installed. "

          Really? Which ones have that been (rethoric question, as there weren't any!)?

          You're wrong pal, sorry. Vista did work on most the computers it was sold with (otherwise the manufacturers would have had some pretty hefty lawsuits on their neck as they would be responsible that it works, not MS!), at that time I bought a few hundreds of them for my employer so I should know if they didn't work with Vista. It even worked on PCs much older than Vista (the oldest one I had it running was a Dell Optiplex GX110 from 1999). Some low-end consumer PCs were sold with too little memory and slow processor but that was neither unique with Vista nor was it a Vista-specific problem (such crap is always on offer). There however was an issue because the Vista Ready stickers didn't actully gurantee that the Aero desktop would work (specifically laptops with GMA900 graphics, but that was intels fault), which lead to some bad press mainly in God's Own Country where compensation claims are plenty and enormous.

          There were also issues with self-build PCs if the components were crap. Unlike XP, Vista required a fully ACPI compliant BIOS to work with, and while companies like Dell provide that since the P3 aera when Vista came out many mobo manufacturers only had half-baked or broken ACPI implementations. Some were fixed with a BIOS update, some not. But again, this was the fault of the hardware vendors or buyers who didn't check the requirements, as ACPI was listed as a requirement for Vista.

          "Win8, on the other hand, will be a failure because it was designed by a committee of marketers, not by anyone with a real understanding of ergonomics, nor by anyone with any vision of design aesthetics. Nor even by anyone with any understanding of what existing Windows users (all 500,000,000 of them, by Microsoft's count) actually want in an OS. "

          Yeah, sure, MS is of course full of idiots who have no clue what they are doing and no clue on ergonomics. Had they only asked you (or the El Reg forum in its entity) before committing into new projects, to get the ultimate insight what Windows users want. MS (or Apple, or Google, or any other company) will never get it right if they don't listen to the collective wisdom of the El Reg forum. If you really believe in this then sorry but you're delusional. MS may not do everything right (even Apple does make mistakes) but you can bet your arse that they have done some research before settling for Metro.

          You also seem to believe that your litlle view of the world of Windows users is actually representative, but trust me it isn't.

          1. fung0
            FAIL

            Re: Not just you

            Davidoff said: "You obviosuly never read his stuff. This guy must have been on crack at that time, he wrote lengthy drivels "

            I read Gutman's stuff very carefully. I read the technical background. I read the many posts by Vista users who found their legitimate videos being blocked. There's no question that Microsoft compromised the internals of the OS to suck up to Hollywood. Microsoft admitted it; there was no doubt. How much real-world damage was done? Not as much as Gutman feared, maybe... but his point remains valid. When i install an OS, I expect 100% of the code to be working for ME, not some copyright troll in Hollywood. Code that works against the user is kind of the definition of malware.

            As for Vista working on "most of the computers it was sold with," I think you need to a) define "most of," and b) define "work." Vista most definitely did not "work" at all well on far too many of the computers it was sold with. The failure rate was worse than I can recall with any other version of Windows, including Me. Lots of people seem to think that because Vista worked fine for THEM, there was no problem for anyone. Well, Vista worked fine on my high-end desktop too, but it failed totally on many brand-new portables that I saw being purchased by friends and acquaintances. That's not acceptable.

            Regarding Win8... I did not say it was designed by idiots, I said it was designed by marketers. The 'research' concerned not usability, but market numbers. You can hear this explained quite clearly in Microsoft's own 2011 BUILD conference videos, especially the one titled "Introducing the Windows Store." Look it up on YouTube. Metro could have been optional on the desktop PC, but it's mandatory for no other reason than to build developer support for Microsoft's tablet push. As someone else said, they were happy to 'throw desktop users under the bus,' if it seemed to even marginally improve their odds of catching up in the tablet world.

            Whether your views or mine are more 'representative' remains to be seen. But the facts are the facts... Microsoft has foisted a really bad design on desktop users, purely as a marketing ploy. Just because you happen to enjoy being treated that way, doesn't mean it didn't happen.

    2. phr0g
      Thumb Up

      Re: Yes...I'm that guy

      Agreed, me too.

      IIt's on my gaming laptop. I don't have a problem with Metro (and in fact some of the free apps are very nice), but Itreat it as a full screen start button.

      The OS boots much quicker and is generally very swish.

      The only thing I would change is an option to turn off all the hot spots around the screen in desktop mode (other than the "start button")

    3. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Yes...I'm that guy

      I love how everyone is being downvoted simply for saying "I like it". Not saying "you should like it", just "I like it". It just emphasises the childish, immature nature of your typical Linux evangelist who claims to support freedom and choice but is personally affronted if you exercise that freedom to disagree with them.

      Maybe Linux users are just so angry all the time because they have to use Linux.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Yes...I'm that guy

        >I love how everyone is being downvoted simply for saying "I like it".

        Yeah, it seems a bit off, doesn't it? They have gone to the effort of installing Win8 and and have used it for a while, and have been kind enough to report back here with their impressions... and people have just downvoted them.

        I won't be getting Win8 on the basis of their favourable impressions, though- I will test-drive it myself, if I'm made aware of Win8 having any compelling advantages over Win7.

        I do appreciate that secure boot will is rightly a matter of concern to the Linux community- relatively novice users are not likely to implement workarounds or disable it in order to run an alternative OS (though some would say that novice users aren't too likely to partition their HDD and configure GRUB from a text file, either)- but this has nothing to do with someone's appraisal of Win8's UI.

    4. keith.nicholas

      Re: Yes...I'm that guy

      starting gimp on win-7 is exactly the same. Except the whole screen doesn't become schizophrenic :)

  9. pixl97

    Downgrade option?

    Do you get downgrade rights with this Win8 offer? 'upgrade' WinXP to Win8, then downgrade it to Win 7 for $40. Beats $130 for an OEM copy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Downgrade option?

      You do, for the price of a retail copy of Windows 7 + $40 for the Windows 8 "upgrade".

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For all those customers who can’t wait to enjoy Windows 8’s Metro UI....

    ...they need to be rounded up and shot dead.

    1. WR
      Joke

      Re: For all those customers who can’t wait to enjoy Windows 8’s Metro UI....

      Whats that skippy....<snif>....<snif>....smells like a troll?

      Why yes it does.

      1. ShelLuser
        Joke

        @WR

        Calling the editor a troll? That's not really fair now...

        After all the trouble he went through... Carefully listening to this MS announcement to share the news while /still/ doing his utmost best not to start laughing out loud when hearing / reading this.

    2. h4rm0ny

      Re: For all those customers who can’t wait to enjoy Windows 8’s Metro UI....

      ".they need to be rounded up and shot dead."

      I didn't know Jeremy Clarkson worked for Google.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just upgraded PC and XP to W7

    I'll stop right there thanks.

  12. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. Khaptain Silver badge

    The most import market

    I believe that the most important market is the Business Sector, if they can't be swayed then it's a garaunteed fail for W8, and I just don't see what benefit Metro has in the workplace

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm getting it for my tablet.

    But all my laptops and desktops in my house are remaining windows 7.

    The stupid, stupid Metro just pisses me off.

  15. Lunatik
    Headmaster

    "Offer extends through January 2013"?

    It's alright, chaps. I think he means that the offer runs until the end of January 2013.

  16. toadwarrior

    A sure sign they're desperate but this movre seems a bit anti-competitive and the US at least has laws against dumping.

    1. Charles Calthrop

      anti competitive? against whom? the only real competition they have is earlier versions of windows.

  17. John Burton
    Thumb Down

    Or

    I'll pay £100 instead for a version without metro.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will someone please think of the CHILDREN!!!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Will someone please think of the CHILDREN!!!!!"

      They made your server look like an XBox - what more do you want?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shameless

    honestly i cant believe some of you lot. you dont like it fine, get over it and stop moaning, everyone who was moaning about it going to cost a fortune seems to have suddenly shut up so it is possible

    The story here regardless of your take on Windows 8 is that this is an upgrade, (fresh install if you want) a Microsoft upgrade, thats going to cost not much more than a couple of Dominos Pizzas!

    Yeah you can download Linux and have an OS for Free, and thats fine, you do that, but some of us actually prefere Windows, and this is a big deal.

    I know the MS hate in here is always high, but can you not at least put your Secular OPINIONS aside and actually have a normal convo about this, in the World of MS where anti MS opinions are irrelevant, this IS a big deal.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Shameless

      It IS a decent price, on a par with what Apple charge. Maybe that's deliberate, maybe not...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh God I've Waited For This

    A cheap upgrade or downgrade from Vista...

    Oh wait - let me guess - my OEM laptop Vista won't qualify?

  21. cmgangrel

    The cost is the same, it doesnt matter if you are upgrading from XP, Vista or Win 7

    *HOWEVER* If you are wanting to change from 32 bit to 64bit (or Home to Pro), or something along those lines... the upgrade route *might* not be valid.

    Not entirely sure on that one though

    1. Davidoff
      Holmes

      If you are wanting to change from 32 bit to 64bit

      Vista and Windows 7 license keys are 32bit/64bit agnostic. I guess the limitation is that doing an actual upgrade from 32bit Vista to 64bit Win8 may not be possible (only a fresh install), or say from 64bit W7 to 32bit W8 (for whatever reason one would actually want that).

  22. 1Rafayal

    I dont see why there is so much hate for a product that hasnt even been released properly yet.

    So, it has the Metro UI. Big deal.

    The major thing for me concerning the Windows 8 release is that it may just force some companies to upgrade from Windows XP to 7.

  23. Alex Walsh

    Have they sorted out the issue with Nvidia nforce ethernet drivers? Last time I looked, everyone was still using wireless- I certainly am :(

  24. Alan Bourke

    Basically the bottom line is ...

    ... you'll either get on with Metro, or you won't. If you don't, that would be fine if you had the option to just make it work like Windows 7. But you can't, and they've actually expended effort to make sure that you can't. And it's that which is the killer for me.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 8 Server - new keyboard

    Did anyone see the new Windows 8 Server keyboard?

    http://imgur.com/kHp4p

  26. Dan7712

    Why can't people just be happy anymore?

  27. Jerome 0

    Upgrade?

    Anyone who doesn't treat a new version of Windows as a golden opportunity to buy a new hard drive, do a clean install to ditch all the crap, and hopefully get your computer booting up in under 5 minutes, is either an optimist or an idiot.

    1. Killraven

      Re: Upgrade?

      Idiot: The person who feels a need to waste money and time by buying a new hard drive and doing a complete reinstall of otherwise working software just because a new version of their operating system is available.

      If things are bogging down, wipe your drive and reinstall what you need, using the OS you've already paid for.

  28. George 24

    Outside the US and Canada

    I just hope that this will be available to the entire world, not just the U$ and Canada like it was the case for discounted pre-sale W7.... And for those who don't like Metro UI, don't upgrade, very simple.

  29. Killraven

    Did I Miss an Upgrade?

    Where's the $40 offer to upgrade my Windows XP to Windows 7? I'd like a 5-pack please!

  30. FordPrefect

    I'm not in the habit of downgrading and hell will freeze over before I pay for the privilege. I really hope Microsoft get over this collective mass hysteria and delusions and realize that for anything that isn't a touch device IE most of there core market that windows 8 is complete and utter trash and then quickly follow up with windows 9.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Err?

      MS' collective mass hysteria? Have you actually read what people (who clearly haven't used Metro/Win8) are saying about the OS? I would suggest that the mass hysteria is not from MS, rather from wannabe power users, who think that they know better than everyone else, or in some (most?) cases, just want to slag off MS on the internets.

      1. Killraven

        Re: Err?

        Been trying it, been trying very hard to keep trying it.

        When I install new software, a shortcut appears scattered about someplace in the Metro interface, usually far off where I have to scroll half of forever to move it someplace useful. I can switch to the Desktop mode, like so many people say to use, but there are no shortcuts for new software put there, and with no Start button, creating shortcuts is a time-consuming pain in the arse.

        I tried to delete the "mail" button, which I don't need, but then it wants to also uninstall the Calendar, which I'd prefer to keep.

        Dadblasted ribbon makes doing anything in Explorer menus a right pain as well, and nothing I add to my setup in the Desktop version of Internet Explorer seems to do anything to the Metro version.

        Why do I want, or need, to set up an account with Microsoft just to download apps?

        If I want a Metro folder to group common items in, why must I go to the Explorer desktop to create it, then tell it to pin itself to the Start menu?

        No wonder all the 8-lovers say it's just takes a bit to get used to, because as a Desktop PC OS, there's not a danged thing remotely intuitive about it!

        That being said, on a tablet it should work pretty well. For a PC though, all it does is slow you down.

  31. Winkypop Silver badge
    Alert

    Win 8 the new Vista?

    Is Win 8 the 'one to skip"?

  32. Jean-Luc Silver badge
    Windows

    How does $40 upgrade special offer compare?

    It seems pretty low. I recall Win 7 had a "upgrade for X$ before date Y" offer.

    But I don't recall being _that_ cheap. Are they being especially nice about Win 8 upgrades?

    Could it be someone's worried over at HQ?

  33. JB
    Unhappy

    Tried it...

    Did not like it. I'm using it right now, and it really disappoints me. Even the desktop mode is big and finger-friendly, just right for using a mouse and keyboard! Sorry, Microsoft, this is too revolutionary, Apple have the right idea, OS X for the desktop and IOS for the phone and tablets, though I hear that even they are thinking of amalgamating the two.

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