Why is Microsoft Taking So Long to Reveal Official Windows 8 Pricing?

Paul Lilly

Here's what we know so far about Windows 8 pricing. If you want to upgrade from XP, Vista, or Windows 7 to Windows Pro, it will cost $40 up through January 31, 2013, after which time the price will go up. We also know that if you buy (or already purchased) a qualifying Windows 7 PC between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013, a Windows 8 Pro upgrade will run $15. Other than those two promotions, Microsoft hasn't released any official pricing info. What gives?

Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, told ComputerWorld that Microsoft's delayed approach "is all about uncertainty around the PC market and competition from Apple." As Moorhead sees it, Microsoft's pricing strategy boils down to a juggling act.

"Microsoft needs to price Windows in a way that looks smart versus Apple's OS X, doesn't leave money on the table with commercial PC customers, and enables OEMs to compete better with the iPad," Moorhead said.

In the absence of official pricing, there have been numerous rumors, one of which claims Windows 8 Pro will debut at $70 as part of an introductory promotion and then jump to $199 after January 31, 2013.

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