You can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, released on October 26th, 2012 in a number of ways. This guide will show you your options and show you how to upgrade based on your choice:
- Upgrade from Windows XP, Vista, or 7 via upgrade Disc
- Upgrade from Windows XP, Vista, or 7 via online purchase
- Upgrade a Windows 7 PC purchased between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013
- Order a PC with Windows 8 Pre-installed
- Try before you buy
Note: Prices listed are in USD and will vary by locality.
If you’re upgrading from a previous version of Windows, here’s what will carry through the upgrade:
|Upgrading from:||What you can keep:|
|Windows 8 Preview||Personal files|
|Windows 8 Developer Preview||Nothing, but your old files will be saved in the “windows.old” folder|
|Windows 7||Software programs; Windows settings; personal files|
|Windows Vista||Windows settings; personal files|
|Windows XP||Personal files|
Note: If you are running a 32-bit version of Windows XP, Vista, or 7, and wish to upgrade to 64-bit Windows, backup your settings and personal files as these will not be kept during the upgrade.
Upgrade from Windows XP, Vista, or 7 via upgrade Disc
Upgrade discs are available for purchase ($70) from Amazon.com, Best Buy, and other major retailers as well as the Microsoft Store (after October 26th.) The upgrade disc will cost $70, although you may find companies offering discounts or promotions around the launch of Windows 8. This offer is valid until January, 2013.
Upgrade from Windows XP, Vista, or 7 via online purchase
From October 26 onward, you can purchase and download a Windows 8 Pro upgrade (download) for $40 from the Microsoft Store. This offer is valid until January, 2013.
Upgrade a Windows 7 PC purchased between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013
If you purchased a PC with Windows 7 pre-installed between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013, you can upgrade to Windows 8 for $14.99. Be sure to register for the offer at windowsupgradeoffer.com by February 28, 2013.
Order a PC with Windows 8 Pre-installed
If you want to dive in an try Windows 8 without installing or upgrading yourself, it may be time to consider some new hardware. The market will be saturated with Windows 8-ready touch screen devices this holiday season. Top touch screen picks include the Dell XPS 12 and, running on Windows 8 RT, the Surface.
Try before you buy
If you’re still not ready to buy, you can download the Windows 8 Release Preview (valid until January 15, 2013) as a Virtual Machine with VirtualBox.
Will you be upgrading to Windows 8?
Rich is the owner and creator of Windows Guides; he spends his time breaking things on his PC so he can write how-to guides to fix them.
- More Posts (1019)
Search Windows Guides