Heads up: Windows 8 is about to get really expensive.
You've probably seen me regularly mention that an upgrade-licensed copy of Windows 8 Pro can be had for pretty cheap. This fantastic promotion has been going on since the first day Windows 8 was released, back in October. Unfortunately, it's about to end.
Here are the details:
"What exactly is the promotion?"
Right now, a copy of Windows 8 Pro Upgrade can be purchased for $39.99 USD. This license requires that you already have a copy of Windows installed, anything from Windows XP through Windows 8.
This price is only available if you download Windows 8. Once you download it, you can do an in-place upgrade or a clean install. It's also possible to get the download onto a disc or flash drive that you can then boot from.
See How To Clean Install Windows 8 Upgrade for help.
You might also want to read through my Installing Windows 8 FAQ article for answers to some more questions you might have about that process.
"When does the promotion end?"
The last day you'll be able to buy Windows 8 Pro Upgrade for $39.99 is Thursday, January 31st. I'd guess it'll run up to near midnight Pacific Time that evening but I don't know for sure.
How much will Windows 8 cost after the promotion ends?
Here are the estimated retail prices in USD of Windows 8 as of February 1:
Windows 8 Pro Upgrade: $199.99 (I know, big jump, hu?)
Windows 8 Upgrade: $119.99
Windows 8 Pro Pack: $99.99 (upgrades a copy of Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro)
"Can I buy Windows 8 Pro Upgrade for $39.99 before the promotion ends but choose to install and activate it after the promotion ends?"
I had this same question so I asked a Microsoft representative, who told me (I'm paraphrasing):
Yes, buy it now while it's cheap and then install and activate it later, at your convenience.
In other words, you can download Windows 8 before February 1st for $39.99 and sit on it for as long as you need to. If you know you'll want to upgrade at some point in the future, buy it now but install it later, saving you $160.
Here are the "end of the promotion" details directly from Microsoft: Update on Windows 8 Pricing [Windows Blog]
Have you upgraded to Windows 8 yet? Are you still planning to prior to the end of this promotion? Let me know in the comments!
Windows 8 Pro Boxshot Image © Microsoft