As of early this morning, Windows 8 is available for purchase and immediate download from the Microsoft Store. You can also order a boxed version of Windows 8 from most online retailers or walk in to most electronic stores and pick up a copy.
The very best deal is to buy Windows 8 Pro Upgrade directly from Microsoft for just $39.99 (offer ends January 31, 2013).
I recommend a clean install of Windows 8 Pro, which is possible even with this "upgrade" version. I've outlined the entire process in a tutorial here:
Note: To be clear, this is an upgrade license, meaning you have to be running Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 on the computer that you plan on installing Windows 8 on to qualify. This does not mean that you have to complete an actual "upgrade" installation - you can still do a clean install, which I always recommend. The whole process is detailed in the walk-though I linked to above.
Why do a clean install?
A clean install is a fresh installation of Windows on a formatted drive. This means that previous issues in Windows with the registry, junk programs, viruses, etc., are all erased and you get a copy of Windows 8 that works as designed. Yes, it's true that you first need to backup any data you want to keep and you'll also have to reinstall any software programs you'd like to continue using, but the trade-off is worth it.
Here are some other tutorials you might find useful after installing Windows 8:
- Updated List of Windows 8 Drivers
- How To Update Drivers in Windows 8
- How To Open Control Panel in Windows 8
- How To Open Command Prompt in Windows 8
- List of Windows 8 Command Prompt Commands
- New (and Removed) Commands in Windows 8
Having trouble installing Windows 8? Have some initial thoughts on Microsoft's newest, and arguably boldest, operating system? Let me know in the comments!
Update: See my Installing Windows 8 FAQ for answers to some of the questions I've been receiving.
Windows 8 Pro Boxshot Image © Microsoft