Preorders begin for Windows 8 upgrade copies and third-party PCs and tablets

Preorders begin for Windows 8 upgrade copies and third-party PCs and tablets

Summary: With two weeks to go before Windows 8 and Windows RT launch, Microsoft and partners are slowly opening the availability pipe.

TOPICS: Windows, Tablets, PCs

For those who still haven't gotten their hands on the Windows 8 release-to-manufacturing bits via MSDN, TechNet, BizSpark, volume licensing or some other channel, Microsoft is making available via preorder the Windows 8 upgrade media as of October 12.


Those interested in obtaining a reserved, packaged DVD (or product key card version) of the Windows 8 Pro upgrade for $69.99 can place their orders via, Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot, the Microsoft Store and other retailers. Newegg is another outlet taking preorders, as my ZDNet colleage Ed Bott noted this morning.

Those looking to build their own PCs or install Windows 8 on a Mac are able to preorder a system builder/OEM license. As I blogged earlier this fall, the pricing for the system builder license is roughly the same as the cost of a Windows 7 system builder license. As Bott noted, the exact sysem builder pricing is $99.99 for Windows 8 and $139.99 for Windows 8 Pro.

As expected, there is no "fully packaged" Windows 8 product available at retail. If you want the equivalent, you have to buy an OEM/system builder license.

Current Windows users wanting to take advantage of Microsoft's previously revealed $39.99 upgrade price (which doesn't include DVD media) for Windows 8 still have to wait until October 26 to upgrade online via Users going that route will use the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant in order to get their Windows 8 Pro copies. Most of those who have been testing Windows 8 are eligible to upgrade for $39.99 upgrade.

Customers who bought Windows 7 PCs as of June 2 and who want to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $14.99 also will have to wait until October 26 to redeem their upgrade offers.

It's not just the Windows 8 software that is available for preorder as of today. Several Windows OEMs, including Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Samsung and Sony have started taking preorders for their PCs and tablets.

Microsoft still has not announced pricing or a preorder date for its Surface RT tablet/PCs. They will be available for purchase in Microsoft brick-and-mortar and pop-up stores, as well as select Microsoft online stores as of October 26.

One thing to remember if you're thinking about purchasing an ARM-based Windows RT PC or tablet, including the Microsoft Surface RT: Only certain mice, keyboards, printers and other peripherals which have been certified for Windows RT will work with these systems. Very few of Microsoft's own mice or keyboards are currently certified to work with Windows RT. I haven't found a list of third-party peripherals that are Windows RT-certified. Anyone else?

Topics: Windows, Tablets, PCs


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).

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  • Surface - 26th?

    Mary, you think the Surface wont be available for pre-order before the 26th?
    Ashley Quint
  • Preorders begin for Windows 8 upgrade copies and third-party PCs and tablet

    This is a hard decision. Do I preorder so I can be one of the first to get Microsoft Windows 8 or do I wait until the 26th so I can get it cheaper. Either way I'm still getting Windows 8. I know, I will do both so I can get the upgrade for myself then have a couple of extra copies on hand just in case.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • If you bought a new laptop recently,

      you should wait because you get it for even cheaper. :D.
      But definitely I am going to get Surface RT. I have two new laptops that do heavy lifting with Windows 8 and RT for testing my apps for Modern UI touch. iPad and Galaxy Tab will be retired and stay home instead of travelling with me.
      Ram U
    • $39 Upgrade

      I'm waiting to see if I can buy the $39 upgrade but not install it until later. My plan is to get a Win8 tablet and use it for a while, before deciding whether to upgrade my desktop or leave it on Win7.
    • Go cheap one and feed a starving kid with the extra $$ you would spend

      Seriously. It's just technology. Extra copies "just in case"?
  • Any news about Media Center add-on?

    Media Center will be a separate add-on for a small price, but there are rumors that it can only be installed on Pro, not on Enterprise or standard Windows 8.
    • Media Center add-on


      MS has said recently that Media Center add-on will be free option for those who take advantage of the $39.99 offer:

      (At least for now, that offer is only set to last through Jan. 2013. No word if MS will extend it.)

      Mary Jo Foley
  • I will be picking up a retail boxed copy

    Just for keep sake. We are probably looking at the last release of Windows to come in physical packaging.
  • Download upgrade ISO?

    I realize this has probably been covered somewhere but I didn't find it in a quick Google search:

    Is the $40 upgrade only an in-place upgrade, or can you download an ISO? (I'm not interested in any MSDN or other special downloads, just what would be available to the average user.)
    • ISO images

      I have downloaded 32 and 64bit ISO images for the consumer preview and those work fine. They are a few versions behind what will be released, but it will qualify for the discount if that is what you are looking for.
    • In-place upgrade is also an ISO

      The $40 in-place upgrade launches a web installer, one of the options available inside it is to make your own ISO to boot your system from it instead of using the web installer.
  • windows XP Smart Display

    Anyone remember this? Sounds like a perfect time for a return of smart display. Brains and dvd drive were on the base unit of the laptop but you could remove the display portion and voila - a tablet pc with desktop power, light and capable of running Windows 8 - time is right now for this but no one is doing it ---yet!