Windows 8 Now Available For Pre-Orders

Microsoft opened its Windows 8 operating system for pre-orders on Friday, setting the price for an upgrade to the full version of the software at $69.99 for a DVD pack.

Users can also wait for the official launch on October 26 to download the system onto their computers for $39.99, an offer price that will expire at the end of January. PCs running Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 will be allowed to upgrade to Windows 8.

Shoppers can reserve the software pack at Microsoft’s own stores,, Best Buy, Staples, New Egg and other retailers. Microsoft has not yet announced the price of the full software to install from scratch, as opposed to the upgrade. The current price for a comparable version of Windows 7 is $199.99.

Any customer who buys, or already bought, a Windows 7 PC between June 2 and the end of January 2013 will be able to get an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $14.99, a move designed to prevent a drop-off in PC sales before the launch of Windows 8.

Microsoft also said PC makers such as Acer, Asustek, Dell, HP, Samsung and Sony were also now taking pre-orders for machines with Windows 8 pre-installed.

With all the interest in iPads and tablets, PC sales are taking a beating. Last Thursday, Dell, HP and Intel stock fell to 52 week lows and many manufacturers are cautious about the upcoming Christmas selling season as well. On Monday, AMD lowered its outlook and expects revenue to drop by 10% due to the weak demand in the PC market.

Microsoft did not mention its own Surface tablet PC, which is expected on the market at the same time as Windows 8 and Microsoft has not yet revealed the selling price of the product it hopes will challenge the Apple iPad.

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