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Microsoft won't discount Windows 8.1 upgrades (to non-Win8 users)


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Microsoft won't discount Windows 8.1 upgrades

It's free to Windows 8 users, but anyone with the older Windows 7 must pony up full price -- $120 or $200

By Gregg Keizer
September 17, 2013 04:18 PM ET
 
Computerworld - Microsoft today announced that it will charge full price for Windows 8.1 upgrades from Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7.
 
Customers already running Windows 8, however, will receive the update -- which is slated to hit the Windows Store Oct. 17 and reach retail Oct. 18 -- free of charge.
 
Downloads or retail packages containing a DVD of Windows 8.1 will cost $119.99, said Microsoft spokesman Brandon LeBlanc in a post to a company blog Tuesday. The more capable Windows 8.1 Pro will be priced at $199.99.
 
Those prices are identical to the current costs of Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro for users who want to upgrade from an older edition of Windows.

 

The lack of promotional pricing for Windows 8.1 was in stark contrast to Microsoft's marketing of Windows 8 last fall. Then, the Redmond, Wash. company heavily discounted upgrades to Windows 8 Pro, selling them for just $39.99. The promotion ran from the Oct. 26, 2012 launch of the radically overhauled operating system to Jan. 31, 2013.
 
It was after the latter date that Microsoft raised prices to the $119.99 and $199.99 marks.
 
Wes Miller, an analyst with Kirkland, Wash.-based Directions on Microsoft, noted the switch in sales strategy by Microsoft. "I don't think [upgrades] matter quite as much to Microsoft now," he said. "Windows 8 was really focused on consumers and upgraders," he added, referring to last year's launch and discounts. "Windows 8.1 seems more focused on businesses."
 
He cited several features, including Workplace Join -- which lets enterprise IT administrators fine-tune what resources a Windows 8.1 device can access -- as evidence of Windows 8.1's attempt to lure businesses into upgrading.
 
As for consumers still running Windows 7, the older Vista, or the soon-to-retire Methuselah, Windows XP, Miller said Microsoft hoped those customers would buy a new device instead of upgrading. The high prices Microsoft's maintaining for Windows 8.1 supports that reasoning.
 
"There should be a better selection of x86 tablets later this year, and Microsoft will be hoping that [consumers] buy a new tablet rather than try to upgrade from Windows 7," said Miller.
 
Historically, Microsoft has generated the bulk of its Windows revenue from sales to OEMs, or "original equipment manufacturers," the computer makers like Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard, Dell and others that pre-load the OS onto new machines. Retail upgrades typically contribute only small amounts to the company's bottom line.
 
Another change from last year in today's announcement was Microsoft's declaration that Windows 8.1 is not suitable for Windows XP or Vista.
 
"Windows 8.1 is not designed for installation on devices running Windows XP or Windows Vista," said LeBlanc, who also said an upgrade from those older editions was "not recommended."
 
In 2012, Microsoft promoted Windows 8 as a suitable upgrade not only for PCs running 2009's Windows 7, but also 2007's Vista and even 2001's XP.
 
The price of Windows 8.1 Pro Pack -- an after-device-purchase upgrade that bumps Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.1 Pro -- will be $99.99, the same price Microsoft's charged for the similar Windows 8 Pro Pack since Jan. 31.
 
/Steve

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It makes sense.  One should treat Windows 8.1 as Windows 8 Service Pack 1.

 

There was no cost in upgrading previous OS' by installing Service Packs just like you can go from Windows 8 to Win8.1 without a cost.

However you can't upgrade one OS to a newer one without paying for the new one.

 

A rose by any other name...

 

However there should be an OS upgrade price break as there have been with previous OS'.

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there are some contradictions from the real world in that article ... or at least the comments and explanations are not concise .

i have found that W8.1 loads up on some machines that would not even start to load W7 !

M$ is talking out the side of their face ... yet again .

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...M$ is talking out the side of their face ... yet again .

 

After reading post #1, I sense a marketing strategy (sigh, yet another one...). W8.1 may very well be easier to install on older machines than W8, but M$ seems to want to push older hardware out and entice consumers to look at the Surface and other new Metro-friendly contraptions. They think we all need tablets. The longer we cling onto our good ol' keyboards, the longer we'll resist the W8 philosophy, so they're feeding us this crap now.

 

Now they want (need) business to get onboard the W8 wagon. Good luck with that, considering their resistance to offer a decent Desktop experience.

 

Upgrade deals for 8.1 could have been possible I suppose, but they've decided against them. For now... I have a feeling the road to W8.2 will be very bumpy.

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