How can you get Windows 8?

Let’s take a look at the different paths you can take to get to Windows 8 once that date rolls around, with the two primary options being upgrade versus new machine.

Upgrade

It looks like upgrade pricing will be a lot more aggressive than it has been for previous Windows generations. Not only has Apple set the tone with its cheap $29.99 upgrades for Mac OS X, but the pricing information that Microsoft has put out so far decidedly slants towards the inexpensive. In any case, both Apple and Microsoft are far more interested in having you buy a new computer rather than just updating your existing model. One columnist has even called the pricing known so far “fire sale prices.”

So what will you pay for your Windows 8 upgrade? It depends on when you bought your current PC, whether you want the standard or Pro edition, and whether you opt for download or store purchase of upgrade discs. Though there had been speculation that Microsoft would move to the Apple system of download-only software installation, Windows 8 will be available at retail stores, as proven by a $69.99 DVD offer announced by Microsoft. The small table below summarizes the introductory upgrade pricing options we know about so far. Microsoft has said the prices are good till January 31, 2013.

Getting Windows 8 on a New Tablet

On the subject of pricing, it would be hard to imagine Microsoft charging more than Apple does for the iPad, the Surface’s main competitor. Butrumors have come out that pricing for the ARM-based Surface will be in excess of $599, while the Intel-based version will cost more than $799, though the source of this information is dubious. Other rumors claim that the devices will be Wi-Fi only, and that battery life for the Windows RT model will be in the range of 7.5 hours. That’s less than the iPad’s 10 hours and 4G connectivity. One thing the Windows tablets will boast that the iPad doesn’t is a full size USB port.

But Microsoft’s own Surface will be far from your only Windows 8 tablet choice. Hardware vendors including Samsung, HP, Acer, Fujitsu, and Asus have all given some indication that they would be releasing Windows 8 tablets. Some will run ARM-based processors from Nvidia or Qualcomm, and others will be Intel-based. A good rundown of each vendor’s purported offerings is here.
And here’s a list of tablets announced at CES, Computex 2012, and the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference:

@@Lenovo announced the Lenovo Yoga
@@Acer announced the ICONIA W Series tablets.
@@ASUS unveiled the Windows 8 Tablet 810, Windows RT Tablet 600.
@@Samsung talked about two tablets including the Series 5 Hybrid and the Series 7 Hybrid. According to coverage from Computex 2012, the tablets are still in development stages and Samsung has offered few details on the device.
@@Toshiba introduced a touchscreen Windows RT tablet.
@@Fujitsu launched the STYLISTIC Q702 business hybrid tablet, with detachable keyboard


Getting Windows 8 on a New PC

@@Acer announced the Aspire S7 Ultrabook.
@@ASUS unveiled the new ASUS TAICHI—a dual-screen ultrabook and multi-touch tablet in one.
@@MSI showed off the Ultrabook MSI Slider S20.
@@Sony unveiled the Sony VAIO T Series Ultrabook.
@@Toshiba introduced a Windows 8 Ultrabook and a touchscreen Windows RT clamshell PC.
@@Fujitsu launched the LIFEBOOK T902 convertible tablet PC

Of course, Windows 8 won’t be restricted to portable devices. At this year’s Computex trade show in Taipei, Acer has already announced that it will sell a 27-inch all-in-on touchscreen PC designed for Windows 8. And at the same trade show, Microsoft Vice President Steven Guggenheimer showed all-in-one PCs from Samsung, Asus, and Lenovo, as well as the Acer model, which features a swiveling design.

Which Edition, Regular or Pro?
Read More »

2 thoughts on “How can you get Windows 8?

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  • July 24, 2012 at 9:47 am
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