Last call for users who want Windows 8 at the $39.99 promotional price

Last call for users who want Windows 8 at the $39.99 promotional price

Summary: Today's the last day to get a Windows 8 upgrade for $39.99. Upgrade prices will climb significantly starting February 1.

TOPICS: Windows 8, Microsoft

Today, January 31, is the last day users who want to upgrade to the final version of Windows 8 for the cheaper promotional price have to purchase their copy.


After January 31, the limited time, promotional $39.99 upgrade price will end. Starting February 1, the Windows 8 upgrade (from previous Windows home/consumer SKUs) will cost $119.99. The Windows 8 Pro upgrade will cost $199.99.

Currently, Microsoft is charging $39.99 for an upgrade license to Windows 8 Pro from Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7. The promotional price is for individuals and small businesses and is limited to five upgrade licenses per customer.

Those who have been testing Windows 8 preview builds also are eligible for the $39.99 upgrade price. And those running Windows on Macs are, as well.

While I believed Microsoft's guidance to Mac users was they would need to purchase the system builder version of Windows 8, it turns out this isn't necessarily the case.

Customers running a full version of Windows 7 (Windows 7 Full Packaged Product, or FPP) in a virtual machine environment that supports Windows 8 can buy the Windows 8 upgrade through electronic software download (ESD) or at retail and upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8. If you are using Parallels Desktop, there's step-by-step knowledge-base guidance as to how to upgrade to the final version of Windows 8 on Parallels' site.

Microsoft Program Manager Eric Ligman has a good Q&A with all the ins and outs on the soon-to-expire upgrade deal. And ZDNet's Ed Bott has a good frequently asked questions (FAQ) post about Windows 8 upgrades.

Starting February 1, Microsoft is launching a new Windows 8 promotion for students only. The Windows 8 student offer will allow students to purchase the Windows 8 Pro upgrade edition online via the Microsoft Store for $69.99 (ERP).

Topics: Windows 8, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Maybe, maybe not

    MS will set the price at whatever level they consider necessary; witness the price of XP for netbooks a while back.

    If W8 and W8 devices end up struggling in the market place, we WILL see price adjustments. MS cannot afford lo lose the desktop as well.
    • Careful

      "...witness the price of XP for netbooks a while back."

      You are comparing Windows XP OEM pricing for netbooks with consumer Windows 8 Pro upgrade pricing; they are not the same. My guess is once they raise the price on Windows 8 Pro consumer upgrades, they will not be able to lower them anymore.
      • You guess wrong

        PC OEMs are done with buying the junior levels of W8. They've invested in versions with downgrade rights at firesale prices. They're selling those as "W8 pre-downgraded to W7" and finally moving units. That boosts the unit figures for W8, and gives them product people might buy.

        At retail upgrade sales to W8 are going to hit close to zero now that the price is up. The cat is out of the bag.
    • Ballmer’s secretary

      Your MS love suddenly appeared from thin air? LOL...
      Oh ... and you seem to have 'insider' knowledge about MS product pricing.
      • Dude, get a grip!

        Where exactly did you get from D.T.'s post that he's got any love for Microsoft. He's just stating the obvious, that's all.
        • All the MS shills love me

          They cannot help it. ;-)
        • He has ZERO reputation

          He belongs to the Cloggedbottom club, their vocabulary is limited to 5 or 6 words and is not suited for a professional audience.
          • Right... as you use the word "their" as a singular pronoun...

            ..from where I've been reading lately, you seem to fit that description a heluva lot better than D.T. does.
    • XP PRO OS is selling for $300; what does that tell you?

      Digiconcepts had the last group of pristine retail sealed 32-bit XP Pro OS available, in Amazon, for only $150 each. I bought two retail, two System Builder. Did also buy but might return unopened, two Win8 Pro $67 upgrades. For the download is keyed to the machine you use for download, versus the DVD upgrades, which come in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors and are generic. Printed the return labels from Amazon, but maybe won't return them, pending play with what I know will be a diaster, maybe in Dec 2013. Or, can resell them, though not in good conscience.

      Meanwhile, the XP machines (even mere 8.9" netbooks from Acer) and XP Pro OS are more commonly sold ni Amazon for nearly $300. Win7 is cheaper. Vista, I can't find. 32-bit Windows 7 Pro machines, you can't buy new in Dell, but only in the Outlet, and there are very few of those, left. I nabbed two last week. You can find some decent Latitude 6510's in DFS sales, I did a video on them (Youtube, nickname brainouty), last week. Prices average $600, but you can wait and go to dellauction a week later (where the Outlet and DFS unsold inventory go), and save $100-200 more. In short, demand for Win7 and even XP is high, considering they are older OSs with what some uneducated people consider a limited lifespan.

      Now, what does all that tell you? Win8 is not selling. Don't need to get numbers from MS, all I need to do is look at the demand for the earlier OSs.
      • Not correct!

        "For the download is keyed to the machine you use for download"
        I bought 2 keys and downloaded Win 8 Pro 64bit on a machine at work and used the one copy to install Windows 8 on 2 other different PC's.
  • Last call for users who want Windows 8 at the $39.99 promotional price

    Now is the time to get them. I ordered a few more licenses just in case. I have a feeling its going to be a busy next couple of months for me.
    • I bought the last one from the nearest Office Depot today.

      I have $10 Office Depot gift card. They completely sold their inventory. I already ordered couple of them from Microcenter at even further bargain price and have to pickup them this afternoon. :)
      Ram U
    • Don't upgrade

      If you know you're going to be forced to roll them all back over the next few months.
      Little Old Man
    • Re: ordered a few more licenses just in case

      You had some disposable cash, you spent it.

      As long as you feel good, everything is ok. Cheers. :)
    • MS would have to pay me to use this atrocity.

      I'd rather have a hole drilled in my head than install that TeleTubbies operating system.

      Windows 7 works perfectly for me and it doesn't suffer from a split personality.

      I want the UI to works MY WAY ... not what Microsoft wants to impose on me so they can push their crappy (single screen) Metro apps.

    • Loverock-Davidson.. The real truth is people should just save their .

      Loverock your out of your mind
      Over and Out
  • Now that windows 7 and Windows 8 upgrades are the same price...

    ...It'll be interesting to see which sells better for the remainder of the year.
  • Not very bright!

    If Windows 8 wasn't selling well at $40, it wont sell at all at $200.00! They are not very bright in the marketing department at Microsoft. They should without a doubt, make the $40.00 price permanent for Windows 8! Additionally, touchscreen computers are very pricey. Microsoft needs to strongly reconsider jacking the price up and its consequences!
    Pollo Pazzo
    • Tell it to 60 million

      licenses that were sold within first 2 months, and also to Lenovo CEO, who may be doing business wrong,
      Ram U
      • No justification!

        MS has absolutely no justification for raising the price to $200! I think $40 is a perfect price and is how much Windows 8 is really worth. It costs $0 to make Windows 8, especially not that its digital distribution. Tell me how raising the price to $2000 makes sense?
        Pollo Pazzo