Windows 8 Pro upgrade set for $39.99 with Media Center


(CNET) Microsoft is trying to make the Windows 8 upgrade more tempting by cutting the upgrade price and throwing in Media Center, too.

Those with Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 will qualify for an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $39.99 in 131 markets, Microsoft said today.

And Media Center can be added "for free" through the "add features" option within Windows 8 Pro after the upgrade, according to Microsoft.

That might not seem like much but Microsoft said previously that Media Center must be "acquired" via "Add Features to Windows 8" and that Media Center Pack pricing would be "in line with marginal costs."

And note this upgrade must be done via download and Upgrade Assistant. A packaged DVD version of the upgrade at retail will cost $69.99.

The upgrade promotion for Windows 8 Pro both online and at retail runs through January 31, 2013.

This offer beats Microsoft's earlier upgrade pricing. Upgrading to Windows 7 back in 2009, for instance, was a lot more, at least initially.

Windows 8 Pro upgrade settings, files, apps migration details:

  • From consumer Windows 7: Can bring everything, which includes Windows settings, personal files, and apps.
  • From Windows Vista: Can bring Windows settings and personal files.
  • From Windows XP: Can only bring along personal files.

"You will be able to create your own bootable USB or .ISO file, which can be burned onto a DVD for upgrade and backup purposes. If you prefer, you also have the option of purchasing a backup DVD for $15 plus shipping and handling," Microsoft said.

Back on May 31, Microsoft announced that consumers who buy new Windows 7 PCs through January 31, 2013 can purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $14.99 during the time of the promotion.

This article originally appeared on CNET with the headline "Windows 8 Pro upgrade set for $39.99, Media Center too."

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    Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.