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Last Chance To Get Windows 8 Pro on the Cheap

At the risk of sounding like a car salesman, time is running out. Next Thursday is the last day to take advantage of Microsoft's $39.99 upgrade to Windows 8 Pro -- $14.99 if you purchased a Windows 7 machine after June 2 of last year. I'm not a pitchman for Microsoft, and at Redmond magazine we clearly understand many enterprises coming off Windows 7 upgrades are in no rush to move to Windows 8. Nevertheless, there are many good reasons why IT pros should use Windows 8.  

Anyone who has followed the pricing history of Windows can attest the company has never (at least in recent memory) offered its flagship PC operating system at such a cut rate price. Who knows if Microsoft will offer Windows at that price again? It's possible they will, especially if Windows 8 sales don't meet Microsoft's and Wall Street's hopes. But it could also prove to be your last chance to get Windows 8 Pro so cheap (upgrade licenses jump to $119 on Feb. 1).

When Microsoft released Windows 7, the company initially offered a package to consumers that permitted upgrades to 3 PCs for $149.99, an offer it brought back briefly in the early days but never did so after that point. I took advantage of the offer even though I didn't actually upgrade all of my family PCs right away. But it turned out to be worthwhile a couple of years later.

Even if you don't have touch-enabled PCs -- and most people probably don't -- you should become familiar with Windows 8 and its new Windows Store (aka Metro) interface. It works fine with a mouse and keyboard. And while the store lacks the number of apps available in the iTunes App Store or Google Play, the numbers are increasing. Using apps on a PC is a compelling experience and portends how people will ultimately use their PCs with or without touch.

Perhaps you're worried your existing apps won't work if you install Windows 8. Certainly make sure you run the Windows 8 Migration Assistant and make sure your hardware and software is compatible. Presuming your system passes muster, I can say running existing apps through classic Windows 8 has been a charm -- pun intended. So if you want to take advantage of some of the features Windows 8 offers but don't feel like shelling out big bucks for a new touch-enabled machine, Microsoft's soon-to-expire offer is worth considering -- even if you think you might want to perform the upgrade later.



Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 01/25/2013 at 1:14 PM


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