If you're itching to get your hands on the latest version of Windows, now would be a good time as Microsoft recently announced that they will be offering Windows 8 Pro for $39.99, as part of a promotional scheme. This offer is up for grabs up to the 31st of January, 2013 and will be available in 131 markets. What may come as even better news is that it is not only PCs running Windows 7 that will be eligible for this offer, but also users who have Windows Vista and XP. Microsoft has not just stopped there, they have also stated that users can even add Windows Media Center for free through the “add features” option within Windows 8 Pro after the upgrade procedure.

Microsoft have also provided details on the upgrading process and have said that when one uses Windows.com to purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant makes the procedure simple by offering a walk through the upgrade process, which is a step-by-step process from purchase to download and then installation. They state that the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant will check to make sure a user’s PC is ready for Windows 8. It will then provide a detailed compatibility report that lets a user know of anything that he may have to address before or after the upgrade and outlines the actions to take.

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Apart from that it will also inform a user of any application or device compatibility issues. It will then ask the user what they want to keep from their current Windows installation. A user will be able to upgrade from any consumer edition of Windows 7 to Windows 8 Pro and bring everything along which includes their Windows settings, personal files, and apps. If a user is upgrading from Windows Vista, they will be able to bring along their Windows settings and personal files, and if one is upgrading from Windows XP they will only be able to bring along their personal files. They go on to add that, if a user wants a fresh start, then they can choose to bring nothing along. Or if they prefer to format their hard drive as part of their upgrade experience, they can do so for as long as they boot from media and then format their hard drive from within the set-up experience for installing Windows 8, but not prior to it.

Microsoft states that once a user purchases their upgrade, the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant kicks off their download. It has a built-in download manager that allows a user to pause and continue their download at any time as well as a check to ensure their download completes successfully. After the download completes, they can choose to proceed with the upgrade by clicking Install now or install later, either from their desktop or by creating their own media. If a user chooses to create their own media, they will be able to create their own bootable USB or .ISO file, which can be burned onto a DVD for upgrade and back-up purposes. If one prefers, they also have the option of purchasing a backup DVD for $15 plus shipping and handling.

Microsoft claims, “We believe that your upgrade experience in Windows 8 will be a breeze by offering a faster experience, a single upgrade path, and compatibility from prior versions of Windows. We’ve continued to listen to our customers and have expanded the ability to download to over 100 countries and 37 languages. We have simplified the Windows upgrade experience with the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant which supports you during your upgrade with everything from selecting your language to pausing your download to built-in compatibility checks – it’s seamless. And if you’re an enthusiast you will have the flexibility to download and control how you upgrade.”

Consumers also have the option of purchasing a packaged DVD of Windows 8 Pro from a local store and as part of the promotion; it will be available for $69.99. The post ends by stating, “If you’re not upgrading from a prior version of Windows and are building your own PC or installing Windows 8 in a virtual machine or a separate partition, you will be able to purchase and install the Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro System Builder product.”

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