Pricing of Retail Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro SKUs Revealed

Subject: General Tech | October 13, 2012 - 05:22 PM |
Tagged: windows media center, Windows 8 Pro, windows 8, upgrade, pricing, microsoft

The official release of Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system is later this month on the 26th. Previously, Microsoft had announced promotional pricing for online upgrade versions, but retail pricing was unknown. Now, we are starting to see pricing for boxed editions of the OS that are available for pre-order from various retailers.


Image credit: The Verge.

The boxed editions will come with install media in the form of a DVD, but the in place upgrade pack and online promo deals will not come with any media. In that case, you will need to download an .ISO file from Microsoft's Digital River website. The pack that many home theater PC enthusiasts will want is the Windows 8 Pro Upgrade Pack that will upgrade a base Windows 8 install to Windows 8 Pro with Windows Media Center. Unfortunately, we do not yet know how much the base Windows 8 Upgrade SKU will cost – only that the full System Builder (OEM) edition will be $99 at retail. Depending on the price of the add-on pack with WMC, it may be better to go with the Windows 8 Pro Upgrade for $39.99 (promo until January 31, 2013) and buy the add-on separately. It's difficult to say either way since we don't know what the final prices for the add-on will be.

Windows 8 SKU Media Pricing Pricing after Promo
Windows 8 Pro Upgrade (with OEM PC) None $14.99 N/A
Windows 8 Pro Upgrade (Online) None $39.99 $69.99
Windows 8 Pro Upgrade DVD $69.99 $199.99
Windows 8 System Builder DVD $99.99 ?
Windows 8 Pro System Builder DVD $139.99 ?
Windows 8 Pro Pack In-Place Upgrade None $69.99 $99.99

If you already have a copy of a previous edition of Windows (XP, Vista, or 7), you will be able to get Windows 8 fairly cheap thanks to the promotional pricing. If you are wanting to get Windows 8 onto a new machine without a previous license however, it's going to cost you. Personally, I would have liked to see Microsoft offer better promo pricing on non-upgrade versions as well. Currently, Newegg has several Windows 8 SKUs up for pre-order along with a shell shocker promo code (EMCJNJH82) for $10 off a pre-order until the end of the weekend.

What do you think about the pricing? Will you be buying into Windows 8 on the 26th?

October 13, 2012 | 05:30 PM - Posted by Bill (not verified)

I wouldn't touch that tablet OS for free!

October 13, 2012 | 05:44 PM - Posted by Mangix

as someone who has used is quite extensively for almost a year, i would not buy it.

October 13, 2012 | 07:50 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

They could hand out AOL DVD's with Windows 8 Ultimate (or its equivalent) and I'd still use the DVD as a energy drink coaster.

They should pay people to use 'their' new user inspired OS. Definitely doesn't deserve to have the title "Upgrade" anywhere near the box. Then again law suits for false advertising are going the way of the dodo.

October 13, 2012 | 09:18 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Looks like I'll be waiting for a windows 9 fix, Magic 8 Ball says: avoid even numbered Windows, GUI is fuzzy!

October 15, 2012 | 05:29 PM - Posted by timmyisme22

But Windows 98 was AWESOME!!! :P

October 13, 2012 | 11:10 PM - Posted by Fozee (not verified)

Since I can solve problems on my own and operate a UI that's still simple, I'll definitely be buying it. I'm not sure why many people have a problem with it, I think this is the next Vista just because it's cool to bash on it ignorantly.

October 14, 2012 | 02:33 AM - Posted by billgatez (not verified)

When you conster they are shoving there app store down your throat every time you turn on your PC it should be like 40 bucks for Win 8.

June 4, 2013 | 01:24 AM - Posted by Christie (not verified)

Right after all these years I had been doing this
physical exercise pondering it was going to whip me in shape,

October 14, 2012 | 08:15 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

At $40 I could try it. At $139? Don't think so. You buy a tablet with $139. Think about it. A more mature tablet OS AND the tablet.
For desktops Windows 7 is more than good right now.

October 14, 2012 | 08:35 AM - Posted by scajjr2

If MS priced it like Apple does with their operating system MS would sell tons more copies. Easily half the people I know use a pirated version of Win7 just cause it costs too much. If not for games my whole house (6 computers) would run Linux.

October 14, 2012 | 10:59 PM - Posted by JSL

You're an idiot.

Apple makes a huge markup on their branded PC's, which is essentially a very large license fee for OSX (since they're all Intel boxes)

Microsoft doesn't have a line of PC's to sell (other than the Surface Tablet now)

Microsoft also makes the majority of its money in the corporate world, and OEM partnerships. The amount of money they make in OS sales to end consumers is < 3%.

OEM (builder) licenses (which can be purchased at your brick and mortar computer store - not Best Buy, or online from the various online stores) is around the same cost (or lower) than $139 that the non upgrade of Windows 8 has been priced at.

When you pay $19.99, it is for a disc with OSX on it (with Apple labeling, rather than it being burned by yourself). The license, again, was paid when you bought an Apple computer.

I hope that clears it up for you a bit.

October 17, 2012 | 03:21 PM - Posted by Gotmilk

I don't think that's reason enough to call someone an "idiot" irrespective of the 'why' one might justify doing so...

December 16, 2012 | 03:09 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)





October 14, 2012 | 05:32 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

this pricing sucks big time.

October 14, 2012 | 06:55 PM - Posted by Mark Harry (not verified)

I have it on a virtual machine and find it interesting, but useless. My wife will probably like it, but it will never be on my pc.

October 14, 2012 | 07:49 PM - Posted by orvtrebor

The system builder (oem) price is way too high. The upgrade prices are nice (for the short term) but they would have been far better off keeping things in the $60.00 range just to get people on board.

The market place is where they will make their money.

It will be awesome once it gets ramped up.

October 14, 2012 | 08:12 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I microsoft offered me $60.00 to install Win 8, I would tell them to put their offer in Steve Ballmer's place where the sun does not shine! or in other words where Win 8 came from in the first place!

October 14, 2012 | 08:25 PM - Posted by Fozee (not verified)

Win8 is in NO WAY that bad. It's simply Windows 7 with additional functionality, and several greatly improved desktop elements. I'm failing to see what the big deal is.

Seems like more ignorant Vista bashing.

October 14, 2012 | 08:30 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It isn't ignorant Vista bashing, it's passionate seething anger for what Microsoft is trying to do. Their direction is noble, their execution is poor. It's nothing more than a SP2 for Windows 7 in retrospect as far as features go, very little worthy enough to upgrade unless you want the "Metro" experience.

Unless you're speaking of Metro as being the "improved desktop elements" I am not quite following you because that alone is controversial and open to interpretation with "improvement" being the lead word. I've played around with it for quite some time in a VM and I'm not seeing many improved desktop elements. Doesn't help that the Start Menu is banned and Microsoft is going a step further with a witch hunt towards developers trying to rekindle the damn thing we've had for 15 years.

So pray do tell what is so ground breaking that it deserves to cast thee spectators unto the sea?

October 15, 2012 | 04:34 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

In the past we were trying to find themes for the old OS to look like the new one.
In the near future people are going to be searching for themes to make Win8 look and feel like Win7.

October 15, 2012 | 11:51 AM - Posted by Fozee (not verified)

To add the outdated glass and the damned white outline around everything?

I doubt this.

October 15, 2012 | 04:39 PM - Posted by aparsh335i (not verified)

I tried Win8 Beta and hated it...but...I hated it because everything i wanted to do - play games, surf web, etc took more clicks and the whole GUI (metro) felt forced on me and also had a tablet feel.

I had dinner with some friends on Friday and met someone who works for HP - apparently there is a really simple quick option to select on Win8 to disable the tablet/metro style and go with a Win7 style.

In the beta i tried i do not remember ever having that option, but it may make the OS worthwhile if that is the case.

Here is the reality though - PCPer'ers are the 1% of computer users that use the computer for gaming. Microsoft really does not care about us that much. Steam is moving to linux, and our crowd will probably move with it over the next few years.

December 27, 2012 | 05:55 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Austin TX Custom Home Builder
The global services market is highly dynamic environment and selecting the best outsourcing location for your operation can have a significant long-term impact.

October 15, 2012 | 05:31 PM - Posted by timmyisme22

I was thinking about it solely for a HTPC in my future... and a tablet running the x86 chips so as to enjoy classic games on the go (hopefully). Other than that, hell no I won't pay this huge of a price.

October 16, 2012 | 12:44 AM - Posted by cyow

I don't see what all the crap is about I've been using the RTM 90 days trail for 60days and so far I only found one small thing that bugs me and it is all the reviews of people that have only use it for like less then a week and then go and say its crap and so on.

I'm not using it on a tablet it on my desktop and it works great, you can't say it crap or bag it out till you have use it more then a week or two.

now have said that I like to have seen the cost a lot lower myself but I get were MS is coming from but Windows 8 Pro System Builder DVD $139.99is cool and I will get it but i would pay for the Pack In-Place Upgrade now $69.99 and after $99.99 is just way to much to get media center that is going to be the same as what is in windows 7

The biggest thing for me is that I know here in Australia like everything to do with computer's is the cost will be high for no reason at all even now that our dollar is high most days the the USA dollar (1 Australian dollar = 1.0261 US dollars at this time of the post) and I can see been the main reason yet again why a lot will not buy it.

October 16, 2012 | 11:43 AM - Posted by klatch

Does anyone know if you have to get the upgrade from a computer that currently has the OS license you want to upgrade installed? I have a retail box license for Vista that is not currently installed and I don't want to have to install it just to get the update. Would love to just be able to enter in the key etc online and get the upgrade license.

October 17, 2012 | 07:44 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

Hmm... unfortunately I don't have an answer for you. I know that the opposite is true, you can have the OS installed but still do a clean install, but I don't know if you can install Windows 8 with an upgrade key on a blank hard drive. If I had to guess, I would say that you do need to have the previous OS installed in order to install Windows 8 wtih an upgrade license/key. It may be possible to phone in and have MS flip the proper switch to let the installer authenticate and proceed with the install though... 

I say this because afaik Windows 8 requires a key to be entered to complete an install, unlike Win 7 where you can skip it and enter it after the insall is finished.

October 17, 2012 | 03:37 PM - Posted by klatch

I could live with it even if the first time I did the upgrade I had to install Vista and then install Win8 but hopefully if I move that license to a new computer or want to format I wouldn't have to install Vista again.

October 16, 2012 | 10:39 PM - Posted by cyow

Klatach I been try to find that out myself and not had much luck I hoping so if you find out please post here and lets us know as I will if I find out.

October 17, 2012 | 03:36 PM - Posted by klatch

Will do. I emailed Paul Thurrott, a big Microsoft tech guy, and he didn't know yet either.

October 18, 2012 | 03:06 AM - Posted by cyow

I like to know what Paul said can be done he most like know I should have thought of email him.

October 18, 2012 | 01:01 PM - Posted by klatch

This is what Paul said:
"The problem is, I can't really answer this yet because I don't know how the final web installer or retail packaging actually works. Do they require the previous OS to be installed on the PC? I just don't know. I will of course find out as soon as possible and write it up immediately. But right now it's a waiting game."

October 20, 2012 | 08:45 PM - Posted by cyow

Ok thanks for email him about that at less he looking in to it I guest we will just have to keep eye on his site as soon as he has a answer he lets the world know

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