Microsoft Windows 8 Prices and Packaging Revealed

Microsoft Windows 8 to Cost $99, Professional Version to Retail for $139

by Anton Shilov
10/12/2012 | 01:01 PM

Microsoft Corp.'s partners on Friday revealed the look of Windows 8 products retail packaging as well as pricing information. The new operating systems will continue to be sold separately as 32-bit and 64-bit versions; besides, several upgrade options will be offered.


The design of Microsoft Windows 8 operating systems packaging will be vastly different from the previous version, which should emphasize the reimagining of Windows. The Win 8 will come in packages that will feature one of 5 vibrant illustrations. Microsoft moved to paper based materials (the exception of course being the DVD inside), which allowed it to make an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel consumption. The software giant also claims that it reduced the packaging weight by 41%, which is also good for ecology as well as shipment costs., one of the U.S. largest online stores, on Friday began to take pre-orders on different Windows 8 products. The price-list for Windows 8 SKUs looks as follows:

As expected, Microsoft dropped full retail versions of its operating systems and therefore end-users will have to get OEM versions for personal use. The good news is that they are less expensive, the bad news is that they do not offer tech support.

It is noteworthy that upgrading to Windows 8 Pro from an older operating system will eventually cost more than getting a full Windows 8 Pro. Moreover, those, who definitely plan to migrate to Windows 8 Pro, can upgrade online via using the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant for just $39.99 from October 26, 2012, to January 31, 2013.

Microsoft Windows 8 operating system will be available in three editions. All three will support  touch-screen, keyboard and mouse, all general capabilities of Windows and Metro-style apps. For PCs and tablets powered by x86 processors, Microsoft will offer Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. Windows 8 will include all the general features of Windows, updated Windows Explorer, Task Manager, better multi-monitor support and the ability to switch languages on the fly (which was previously only available in Enterprise/Ultimate editions of Windows). Windows 8 Pro is designed for tech enthusiasts and business/technical professionals, it features for encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity. Windows Media Center will be available as an economical “media pack” add-on to Windows 8 Pro. For various devices running ARM microprocessors, Microsoft will offer Windows RT, which will include touch-optimized versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, but will not run Windows applications designed for x86 processors.

Windows 8 will be available starting October 26, 2012, in 109 languages across 231 markets worldwide.