Microsoft is hoping that consumers aren’t delaying spending and will opt instead to purchase a Windows 7 PC, tablet, or desktop today by offering a $15 upgrade price for users to upgrade to Windows 8 later, rather than waiting for new hardware or for the next-generation operating system to come pre-loaded on a new system. The promotion is set to kick off on June 2nd, according to leaks.
This promotion is nothing new and Microsoft had issued similar low-price promotion for software upgrades close to the launch of a new OS release in the past. This will help spur sales in the months leading up to the major launch.
The news of a promotional price for the Windows 8 launch was first reported by Microsoft insider Mary Jo Foley, but Paul Thurrott‘s sources confirmed the budget $14.99 price point. The good news is that any version of any Windows 7 purchase on or after June 2nd–if the sources are correct–would qualify for Windows 8 Pro.
With Windows 8, Microsoft is only releasing three versions of the new OS–each optimized and built for a touch-centric UI with large icons. The first version, Windows RT, will only be released for devices running on ARM-based processors and won’t offer compatibility with legacy apps, meaning programs designed on or for Windows 7. That version of the OS will also come with Microsoft Office for ARM. The other two are geared for Intel and AMD processors and will be available as Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro.
Windows 8 is anticipated to arrive in the second half of 2012 and will most likely compete with Apple’s release of OS X Mountain Lion.