back to article Microsoft to end Windows 8 discounts on January 31

Say what you will about Windows 8; at least the upgrade from Windows 7 is cheap. Or it is for now. After January 31 will be a different story. Ever since Windows 8's October 26, 2012 launch, Microsoft has been offering retail Windows 8 Pro upgrade DVDs for $69.99. Online upgrades have been even cheaper, at $39.99. And …


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  1. Anomalous Cowturd

    Shooting themselves in the foot?

    Or both feet?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shooting themselves in the foot?

      more like in the temple, from both barrels ;)

      1. kb

        Re: Shooting themselves in the foot?

        The reason for this is obvious and simple AC, for the past few years, since the release of WinPhone at least, Ballmer has cared about nothing but Wall Street and NOT the customer base.

        A sane CEO would look at the negative indicators across the board and not only not give people the choice of Win 7 or 8 to stop the bleeding but to more than double the price on a product they can't sell at $40? Well wall Street likes high priced products herpa de derpa de derp.

        The only nice thing I can say about Win 8 is thus: Windows 8 will finally get people to accept that Vista wasn't the mess they thought it was. At least with Vista by SP2 it worked quite well and as long as you turned off its hyper UAC bugging the snot out of you it was quite usable. With Win 8 frankly it needs a product recall as its BROKEN. I mean when most people need a Win 7 PC to Google how to do basic tasks like close metro apps in Win 8 or even shut down the PC? I mean who thought putting shutdown under the universal SETTINGS icon?

        Windows 8 will go down as the biggest disaster since WinME, maybe even as bad as Bob.

    2. The Indomitable Gall

      Re: Shooting themselves in the foot?

      Well, I can see from the internet that the US doesn't seem to care about eternal discounts ("must end soon" being a permanent fixture on many smaller websites), but in many countries it's fraud to claim a discounted price when there's never a "full" price to discount it against -- the UK is one of these.

      So what choice did they have? If they'd raised the price only in countries where they were legally obliged to do so, there would have been a backlash against "rip-off" foreign prices etc.

      If they want to drop the price, they'll have to wait a while -- 3 months, IIRC in the UK, and it's unlikely to be much longer elsewhere.

  2. Josco
    Thumb Down


    Charging like a wounded elephant.... or should that be lemming.

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: Wow

      Charging like an angry accountant, more like.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This preloaded win-7 upgrade for $14.99, is that only if you bought something with it preloaded in the last few months before Win 8 came out, or is that any device with win 7 preloaded on it? At $14.99, might be worth a punt just in case.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think it's within the last few months. Which is sad, I have a few friends with netbooks with Win7 Starter on, wondering if it's worth suggesting the upgrade (or downgrade? :D) to Win8...

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Microsoft won't give upgrade prices to Win7 Starter owners. I also thought that WH8 with classic shell might be better than the crappy W7 starter that came with the netbook, so I tried to buy it, but the product key was rejected, with the clear indication that the upgrade offer wasn't available for W7 starter,

        Oh well, I only boot into that crap when I need to access the office email from home, anyway. Maybe when they finally roll out exchange 2010 it won't be as crappy on a non-ie browser as exchange 2003 is.

      2. petur

        I upgraded the Win7 on my netbook to LMDE and it suddenly amazed me what speed you can get out of an atom cpu :)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what about OEM?

    it's 100 bucks for now and 200 for the W8 pro. Will it shoot up to 200 / 300? Oh well, I guess I'll give it a pass and wait for the next one, unless they keel over in the meantime.

    1. Steve Knox

      Re: what about OEM?

      I don't think so -- AFAIK, there was never a special deal on the OEM version. But you might want to double-check pricing from your source. NewEgg has Win8 for $100 but Win8 Pro for $140. Those prices are at par with their prices for OEM Win7 Home Premium and Win7 Pro, respectively.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not bad for £25

    I upgraded to Windows 8. A bit quicker than Windows 7 and slight battery life improvement. UI is cleaner and speedier. Not bad for £25. Go for it!

    1. Annihilator

      Re: Not bad for £25

      And were any of those speed/battery improvements measured? And if they were, was the speed boost anything you wouldn't see from a reinstall of the OS anyway?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Mark McC

      Re: Not bad for £25

      I upgraded for around the same price. I'd pay double that for a downgrade option. Maybe that's a potential revenue stream for MS?

      1. proto-robbie

        Re: Not bad for £25

        Won't cost me a penny - I'm not going to want it, use it or buy it.

  6. Herby

    So what is the cost to DOWNGRADE?

    So I want to go from W8 to W7. What does that cost me? Maybe if they start selling downgrades for "less" (I want W7, not W8, give me back some money!) it might be a bargain!

    When this whole thing hits the fan, a bunch of people are going to be not to happy!

  7. Roger Lancefield

    OK, it may be the world's most security challenged operating system, but... least after installing you can fire up the package manager and download your favourite apps!

    Oh wait.

  8. Wang N Staines

    The Windows 8 that came with my laptop(i5 & 8GB RAM) is soooo slow.

    A piece of shit that is Windows 8.

    1. DJGM

      Something is seriously wrong with your laptop then. Windows 8 works perfectly well on all of my systems ... and they are all somewhat lower spec than your Core i5 laptop with it's 8GB RAM.

      System 1 ... Core2Quad desktop tower with 3GB RAM

      System 2 ... Core2Duo media centre with 2GB RAM

      System 3 ... Core i3 ASUS laptop with 4GB RAM

      You're just trolling to crap on Windows 8 methinks. Troll fail.

      1. Wang N Staines

        This is not a troll. My laptop is a Dell Inspiron, bought it 2 weeks ago ... my broadband is 100M with VM.

        Starting any apps taking ages with the circular dots going round and round ... after a minute or so the app starts.

        I had installed VS2012 ... starting it takes ages. However, once started then it's as responsive my Win7 laptop (2nd gen i5, 4GB RAM ... Lenovo).

        1. Zot

          Could it be an anti-virus or some protection software that's slowing it down?

  9. mickey mouse the fith


    If they gave you the option to loose all the stupid tiles and other metro crap and have a proper start menu (without pissing about with patches and hacks) i might have been interested as its actually quite snappy performance wise, but they havnt and its bound to be nearly 100 notes for the cheapo version, so i think il pass until its forced on me during my next laptop upgrade.

    And why the blue blazes dont they listen to their customers?, noone wants a bastardised phone ui tacked onto the desktop bit on a pc, so why didnt they at least put the option there to disable the bloody thing? I, for one would have upgraded if they had, as im sure many others would.

    1. Stuporhero

      Re: hmmmm

      Amen. The full screen interface does everything to stop me multi-tasking. On a Digital Audio Workstation you'd be happier to have something more minimal.

  10. John H Woods Silver badge

    Upgrade = Full

    You can 'allegedly' use the upgrade as a full licence

    Strategy 1)

    a) Download Win8 prerelease beta from some torrent site

    b) Use upgrade on that

    Strategy 2) - more Lulz

    a) delete your disk partitions and install your upgrade

    b) now you have a copy of Win 8 that won't activate

    --- with the stern message that your licence was only for upgrade purposes

    c) now upgrade that inactive install with the same upgrade

    1. Fuzz

      Re: Upgrade = Full

      Have you tried either of these? I'm pretty sure neither will work, however the upgrade copy of Windows will quite happily install and activate on a clean machine.

    2. Daniel B.

      Re: Upgrade = Full

      actually, there's a more LULZ worthy method to follow, which was what someone I know did:

      1) have laptop/PC running a pirated version of Win7.

      2) Get WGA to tell you "d00d you running non-original Windowz"

      3) WGA will recommend buying legal Win7, or the cheap Win8 upgrade

      4) Buy Win8 upgrade, download, install.

      The Win8 upgrade won't care if your Win7 copy was pirated. MS is so desperate to get Win8 out there, they simply don't check if the Win7 was properly licensed or not!

  11. Anonymous Coward

    There was a cheap upgrade?

    Sorry; I never noticed. I was standing in the queue to grab Windows 7 now that its still available.

  12. Dana W

    Its not selling! Quick! Raise the price!

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      It's inflation, Jim, but not as we know it.

    2. Yet Another Commentard


      I get your joke, but there's a serious point in it.

      It's not selling well, and to help old Stevie B out it needs more sales. Put the price up at a defined point may tip those who were thinking "oh I'll maybe do it sometime" or "I always wait for service pack 1" over the edge, so there could (MSFT hope) be a sudden sales frenzy to get a license code and an iso before the price goes up, and tumbleweed follows other than new PCs from OEM.

      The key is - lots of licenses shifted for the next earnings call. Long term we can put off for a bit. This is not a smart way to run a company.

      1. graeme leggett Silver badge

        Re: @Dana

        On the other hand - if they'd cut prices it would have been ascribed to the fact that they weren't selling enough

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Given the reaction to win8, they are going to have to rush release win9 with the metro stuff pushed to the side and other aspects reinstated - if only to get the business community back onside. Therefore its worth waiting for that, or jumping ship to something else, rather than suffering the fisher price OS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Dream on

      Don't hold your breath... Julie Larson-Green is now in charge of the Windows division.

      There will be more of that Fisherprice tile UI in Win9 (or whatever they wish to name it).

      They genuinely believe that Metro is GOOD for office productivity.

      Businesses are going to stick with Win7 for a long, long, long time.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quick, man the pumps!

    Bale man, I said bale!

    But Captain, isn't the water supposed to go OUT of the ship?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Quick, man the pumps!

      No wonder they're sinking if they're spending all their time baling hay.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. Robot

    Two questions

    Question 1. Can I buy the Windows 8 upgrade at the sale price before Jan 31st, and then apply the upgrade say one year later?

    Question 2. If I upgrade my Windows 7 to Windows 8, and if I don't like Windows 8, can I go back to Windows 7 using the same Windows 7 license? When I say "go back" I mean in terms of license, not in terms of the technical work to reinstall Windows 7 (I can simply restore my image of Windows 7). Will the activation of Windows 8 on top of Windows 7 invalidate my Windows 7?

    Thanks in advance for any answer.

    1. Fuzz

      Re: Two questions

      Question 1. Yes

      Question 2. I don't know, as you say from a technical point of view it's fine and will work. I'm not sure whether your license to <del>kill</del> use windows 7 is revoked when you install the upgrade.

    2. keithpeter Silver badge

      Re: Two questions

      Don't assume I know what I am talking about, but, if you were to use clonezilla or something similar to record a binary image of the hard drive including your Windows 7 partition and any boot partition/recovery partition would you not simply be able to revert to Win7 having tried Win8?

      1. Robot

        Re: Two questions

        Thanks, Fuzz and keithpeter, for your feedback. In fact, for safety I cloned (with True Image 2011) my Windows 7 system hard disk that is in my Samsung notebook, and that second hard disk is confirmed to be bootable after a hard disk swap. I am mainly concerned whether Microsoft might disable the Windows 7 system after revoking my Windows 7 license to which I apply the Windows 8 upgrade. I am afraid that putting the cloned Windows 7 hard disk back into computer might not work.

  16. Allison Park

    still pondering spending $15

    I am not a fan of win8 on my HP touchsmart, why would I upgrade any of my non-touch screens for $119?

    oh and anyone can get the $15 upgrade, just say you bought the system yesterday on the upgrade site.

  17. Bottle_Cap

    will be interesting

    to see how steam being available.for.linux affects this. The rest of the games I play playonlinux does a great job!

  18. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I think they have figure that anyone that wanted to actually upgrade to Windows 8 probably had done so already and so they might as well crank the price up as sales had probably started to plateau anyway.

  19. JaitcH

    Win 9 is so bad ...

    that the software copy shops in Ho Chi Minh City haven't sold ANY ... and it's only Dong30,000 - about USD$1.50 - a copy.

    How embarrassing can that be?

  20. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Where would you like to go?

    Not there thanks!

  21. Bob Vistakin


    Just as I was about to convert too, having been persuaded by all that marketing spend.

  22. Marco van de Voort

    Apple OEM version?

    The article compares cheap Apple's OS X with the retail price. Shouldn't it compare to the OEM/system builder price?

  23. Kirstian K

    Wanna hear something amazing.

    I actually found 2 windows 8 features I like:

    The new copy dialogue. (It's actually usefull)

    And the fact they finally built in mounting of iso's into the system.

    (the rest is crap)


    Start menu with all the dumped files on the start screen.

    Rdp'ing to it was dog slow.

    Touch points..... Really!

    Then it's just windows 7 (as long as you know short cuts, and can work out the changes where they have moved stuff, download a start menu replacement and ignore the front screen)

    I love the comment about getting rid of aero because it was distracting. And then give your that stupid metro interface with live tiles (which will become malware/live adverts before you know it) which is REALLY distracting.

    I also love the other comment: after you get used to it, it's intuitive! Lol where you you start on that. My 2 kids 1.5+3 use iPads etc and just got them. Adults get windows 8 and struggle.

    I for 1 won't be buying it, ESP for the new prices. I think this is a very bad move for them. I bet apple/android markets are rubbing their hands in glee.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Modern island life or a tale of simple countryfolk

    I live on a small island, population ~ 450.

    The local PC builder guy gives you the choice of installing Linux for £60* less than with Windows on new builds.

    It works out cheaper to have a locally built machine than having to send a broken one away to be fixed.

    (They tend to get smashed on the way back and it becomes an endless task)

    Consequently most people here are running LInux. I only know of one Mac user and he got pwned not long ago!

    (300 miles to get a Mac mended!)

    I've seen a few ipads around, mostly for children. A neighbour just got one and promptly regretted it, her actual words were "It's crap!".

    Personally, I run Kubuntu 12.04 with XP in a VM. I won't be buying any more Microsoft products.

    Anon to stop Google et al. tracking me down.

    *The last time I asked him, about six months ago.

    1. Nuke

      Re: Modern island life or a tale of simple countryfolk

      Wrote :- "I live on a small island .... The local PC builder guy gives you the choice of installing Linux for £60* less than with Windows on new builds. It works out cheaper to have a locally built machine than having to send a broken one away to be fixed."

      I'm curious - why can't the local builder repair the broken one? Not un-repairable throwaway Apple crap hardware of course, but ones built with a bit of sanity.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Modern island life or a tale of simple countryfolk

        "I'm curious - why can't the local builder repair the broken one? Not un-repairable throwaway Apple crap hardware of course, but ones built with a bit of sanity."

        Because if you buy a Dell, say, you have to send it away to the approved repairers or whoever is stated in the guarantee. .

        1. Unlimited

          Re: Modern island life or a tale of simple countryfolk

          "oh no, can't repair this. Has to be couriered to Dell. I'll build you a new one. I'll even dispose of the old one for you in an environmentally friendly way."

          *puts everything into new case

          *replaces motherboard

          *scrapes hdd for possibly interesting media

          *installs ubuntu

          "Here you go sir, I've built you a brand new computer!"

          1. Chemist

            Re: Modern island life or a tale of simple countryfolk

            ""oh no, can't repair this. Has to be couriered to Dell. I'll build you a new one. I'll even dispose of the old one for you in an environmentally friendly way.""

            You don't really understand life in a remote community, do you. Get caught at this sort of thing and you'd end up inside a wicker man with someone with a lit torch about to reprimand you.

  25. Anonymous John

    Re Upgrade pricing for the UK, Europe, and other regions was not available as The Reg went to press.

    £1 = $1. Sorted.

    1. Stuporhero


      Thieving b**tards. It'd probably be more if the EU fined them again.

  26. Unlimited
    Thumb Up

    And "customers who bought new PCs or laptops with Windows 7 preloaded got the best deal of all"

    Yes, because with their deal they got Win 7 and not 8.

    1. Otto von Humpenstumpf

      Re: And "customers who bought new PCs or laptops with Windows 7 preloaded got the best deal of all"

      That's why, when I bought my new laptop a couple of weeks before Christmas, I deliberately chose the "older" model that still came pre-installed with Win7, rather than the latest model with Win 8. As an added bonus, it was reduced by £150 because it was 'end-of-line'... :o)

      I do not intend to upgrade to Win 8, despite the £15 upgrade offer, since it doesn't have a touchscreen (where, incidentally, I see the whole Win 8 thing is moving towards).

      My theory is that MS are using Win 8 to get users to become accustomed to the 'tiles' metaphor, and keep the 'old-style' desktop for legacy apps. In Win 9, we will probably see the latter disappear in favour of a windowed, VM-like desktop, so that legacy applications can still be run, in a similar way that Windows 95 removed the necessity to run Windows on top of DOS, but still providing a DOS-like CLI in a window.

  27. Adair Silver badge


    ...Microsoft should give up trying to make Windows all things to all people, and ending up with what it more and more reflecting in the UI the horrible kludge that the underlying code always has been, and instead market two distinct versions: one for those who want computing as an appliance---those who have no interest in what goes on under the hood; and another for folks who like to tinker or who actually need to get serious work done and so be in control of the stuff they use to get that work done.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I would upgrade but...

    The upgrade assistant tells me there are problems. USB3 won't work, my Bluetooth stack won't work, and I have 5 Microsoft tools that won't work and have no updates. This on a 2012 notebook.

    Why do I suspect the problems will all suddenly be fixed after 31st Jan 2013?

    1. Fuzz

      Re: I would upgrade but...

      I think the upgrade assistant is confused.

      Your USB3 will work but not with whatever drivers/tools you have installed now, Windows 8 has native USB3 so will provide its own drivers.

      If you have a bluetooth stack I'm guessing your laptop is Toshiba if that's the case you'll find the Windows 7 one works fine but you'll probably need to uninstall it and then reinstall after the upgrade. Your MS tools will also be fine. I haven't found anything that runs under 7 that won't run under 8. Also there is compatibility mode for really troublesome apps.

      Of course the best thing to do is not to actually upgrade but run a clean install.

  29. The Brave Sir Robin


    Good luck with that.

  30. Mystic Megabyte


    Sorry to sound like Eadon but you would have to be f***ing mad to buy Windows 8.

    Come on, this is the 21st. century. You don't need this shit.

  31. John70


    I won't be upgrading Windows 7 to Windows 8 at all.

    I will wait and see what Windows 9 will be like.

    Thats if Microsoft has seen the errors of it's ways and separate the Windows interface and TIFKAM into separate OSes.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It occurs to me…

    Windows has for a long time lived off their market share. A lot of people use windows because they always have: that's what they learnt in school/used at work. Try to redesign windows and suddenly these users can't make the easy transition. Why, when your business is largely built on historical market share, would you give users that otherwise don't really care reason to shop around!? Apparently M$ are trying to copy all the cool kids with their profitable app stores, but they don't seem to have the marketing bluster to pull it off.

    Metaphorically speaking, pretty much all of Microsoft's recent 'development' is autopedophobic machine-gunning!

  33. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Just as a thought

    Are there actually any valid figures on how many windows sales are actual upgrades to existing systems as opposed to direct OEM installations? I suppose Redmond might consider that commercially sensitive...

    My guess would be that the vast majority of people simply buy a new computer from time to time and run whatever comes on it. At best, they'll do the SP upgrade, if they think about it. But I reckon only the homebuilders and speed freaks ever buy an OS directly...

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Just as a thought

      A further complication is the number of corporate buyers who will get a new PC (with the OEM Win8 on it, because the majority of OEMs still don't give you a choice) and then just slap on the corporate volume-licensed image (either Win7 or XP). These people have technically bought Win8, but would have preferred not to and aren't using it.

      I'm sure *that* figure is commercially sensitive, but MS must have a pretty good estimate because anyone with a volume licence for XP or Win7 but not one for Win8 is almost certainly doing exactly this.

  34. Glostermeteor

    I just bought a laptop for my new employee and it came with Windows 8. What a horrible OS, how on earth did they manage to screw up a near perfect OS (i.e. Windows 7)? It makes absolutely no sense for devices that do not have touch screens and even then you then have to combat the switching between a 2d and 3d world with their weird new start menu, everything just seems harder and more complex. I definitely won't be upgrading any of my existing PCs!

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I still think....

    ...that "Windows 9" sounds very German, and quite appropriate...

  36. JDX Gold badge

    Bought my copy

    Foolish to think they would suddenly change their entire pricing model to mirror Apple's, but I'd forgotten how much full versions cost so buying ahead in case I need it seemed sensible... , maybe I'll dual-boot it on my Mac as my main PC probably needs replacing soonish and can live with W7 until then.

  37. Greg Fawcett

    Or get a chromebook

    I bought one of Google's $249 chromebooks for evaluation. If I was a diligent IT manager, I'd be very tempted to buy everyone one and finally ditch MS - along with all the SQL, Outlook and Sharepoint servers, Office licences, virus defences and backup facilities. Users would be happy to get a sexy new laptop, and it would decimate support costs.

    But most IT managers will rail against Chromebooks, because their departments, budgets and influence will shrink.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Win-does or win-suck

    OS's are a horrible topic at the moment. Windows is changing their look/feel further and losing sight of the desktop user for a more integrated experience across devices. This might work or it might fail. Microsofts record of irritating mistakes and major fails are beaten back by a consistent interface and almost hassle-less installation of tools/programs. 98 sucked until release 2, same with xp and vista never worked. The footprint increases and the security slowly tightens but improvements often get in the way of users.

    Personally I have windows 7 but I prefer XP. My requirement for a good 64bit windows was the problem. This system exists to play games on and thats all. I have a fedora linux partition and have almost instantly found myself moving over.

    But all is not rosy. Linux is fragmented by distributions but thats not really much of a concern. Recently we had the move to Gnome3 interface which I kinda like but it gets in the way too. I have tried Unity and found people united by their hate for it, with fair reason. I run a mint distro with cinnamon which I think is the best of the lot which is easy to use and still more secure than windows. However a rare glitch has stopped me using it on my desktop.

    Linux is the better OS if you know how to use a computer and dont need windows specific software. However most users like the bliss of ignorance because they dont want to know what they are doing, they want a system to do what they know. So for these people they are trapped. Either they will like or dislike the new OS but their understandable desire to just use the computer with minimum fuss will keep them trapped with windows. Some will complain, some will like it. But change is more difficult than complaining.

    I am shocked at the excessive pricing of microsoft products. I expect they will be priced out of the market at some point. Especially with google and apple squeezing the market. And linux will likely remain in the domain of the geek. But thats a good thing. Look at the trouble ubuntu is getting while they try to go mainstream

  39. Ramazan

    I have a better idea for Microsoft

    Stop developing, selling and supporting Windows(TM) at all and users will crawl to you begging...

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