When Windows 8 was released in October 2012, anyone with an existing Windows license could upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just $39.99. Microsoft made it clear from the beginning that the extremely low price was a special offer to encourage more and more people to use the brand new operating system.
The original price for the upgrade is set at $199.99 (Windows 8 pro) and $119.99 for a basic version of the operating system. The special offer ends on 31st January, and upgrades made from 1st February onwards would cost the normal ($199.99) prices.
Windows 8 is significantly different from its predecessors because it is aimed to power smartphones, tablets and PCs alike. It has several touch-screen features and a completely different UI. Windows 8 garnered a positive response from a small niche, while most people still aren’t comfortable using the new operating system. The majority of market share in Microsoft operating systems is still being held by Windows XP and Windows 7, while Windows 8 has only been able to secure a small piece of the pie.
The special price for the upgrade has so far been unable to increase sales. Although Microsoft has repeatedly claim that Windows 8 is doing well, reports from third party sources and sales numbers from last year say otherwise. It can be speculated that Microsoft would have extended the duration of the special offer if the pricing was having an effect on sales.
Since support for Windows XP ends this year, many users will be switching from XP to either Windows 7 or 8, and it is quite possible that Microsoft expects them to switch to Windows 8. It can also be expected that people still indecisive about Windows 8 will feel rushed to upgrade before the end of January, thus inducing a hike in sales.
We will keep you updated about the developments in this regard. For now, if you are thinking about upgrading to Windows 8, do it before 31st January to make use of the special offer.
[Image via lifehacker]