As of today, October 12, 2012, you can pre-order an upgrade or full version of Windows 8 (both the standard and Pro version, 32-bit and 64-bit versions) from most major retailers, including the Microsoft Store.
The announcement was made on The Windows Blog, the official blog of the Windows Team at Microsoft:
Here's an important bit from Microsoft's post:
However, if you want to wait until October 26th you will be able to upgrade online via Windows.com using the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant for just $39.99 USD ERP*. Online upgrade to Windows 8 Pro is supported for 140 countries worldwide, with 37 languages, and 23 supported currencies!
You will want to upgrade your PC to Windows 8 Pro sooner rather than later - this upgrade promotion for Windows 8 Pro both online and at retail runs only through to January 31st, 2013.
Frankly, other than that important note, the information about pricing and availability in Microsoft's official post about this pre-order is a bit unorganized and hard to pick out. However, ZDNet has a nice piece here that's easier to understand.
Here's a quick rundown of prices from one retailer (NewEgg):
- Windows 8 Pro (Upgrade) - $69.99
- Windows 8 Pro (Full Version) - $139.99
- Windows 8 (Full Version) - $99.99
A Windows 8 Pro Pack is also available, for $69.99, which will upgrade a standard version of Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro.
I have yet to see a standard version of Windows 8 (Upgrade) for sale but I'll update this post if I see one. Also, 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 8 are priced the same, which was expected.
So... are you planning on pre-ordering a copy? Are you planning on buying a new computer with Windows 8 preinstalled? Personally, I'm still getting used to Windows 8 as a desktop (non-touch) operating system but it's fantastic on my Samsung Series 7 tablet, which I upgraded to Windows 8 Pro to from Windows 7 Ultimate.
Windows 8 Pro Boxshot Image © Microsoft