Microsoft will kick off a Windows 8 upgrade program for buyers ofWindows 7 PCs in early June, according to a report. But unlike past deals, this one may come with a price tag. [ Windows 8 is coming, and InfoWorld can help you get ready withthe Windows 8 Deep Dive PDF special report , which explains Microsoft’s bold new direction for Windows, thenew Metro interface for tablet and desktop apps, the transitionfrom Windows 7, and more. | Stay abreast of key Microsofttechnologies in our Technology: Microsoft newsletter. HDMI Cables 1.4
] The program will, said Cnet yesterday, provide a discounted upgrade to Windows 8 to anyone whopurchases a new Windows 7-powered PC between June 2012 and January2013. Citing unnamed sources, Cnet said that the upgrade offer would letbuyers of Windows 7 systems purchase Windows 8 Pro — thehighest-priced edition that will be sold at retail — for anundisclosed price. The offer will debut at the same time that Microsoft launches Windows 8 Release Preview , which the company has pegged to the first week of June. The mostlikely date is June 5, assuming Microsoft follows the same scheduleit used in 2009 to deliver Windows 7’s release candidate. Three years ago Microsoft ran a similar program for Vista-to-Windows 7 upgrades , which was itself a repeat of a 2006 deal that promised buyers of Windows XP machines an upgrade to Vista. HDMI Cables 1.4 Manufacturer
Both deals provided the newer operating system for either no costor for a small fee. Details varied, as computer makers actuallyfulfilled the offer, with some charging shipping and handling feeswhile others gave the upgrade to earlier buyers gratis. Stephen Baker, a retail software analyst for the NPD Group, saidthat it probably doesn’t matter whether the Windows 8 upgrade isfree or comes with an attached fee. “Consumers have short memories,” Baker said in an email reply toquestions Friday. “Even I don’t remember exactly what happened lasttime, [so] how could a consumer remember? They will take theupgrade and it if suits their needs they will use it. High Speed HDMI Cable 1.4 Manufacturer
If not, theywill not.” Microsoft has already laid the groundwork for a Windows 8 upgradeprogram: A URL seen in a screenshot that accompanied the Cnet story– windowsupgradeoffer.com — was recently registered by Microsoft.A WHOIS search for that domain showed it was activated by Microsofton Feb. 22, 2012. Browsing to the URL now redirects the user to a Bing results pagethat would normally appear if the search phrase”windowsupgradeoffer” had been used. Bing is Microsoft’s search engine . Upgrade programs are important to OEMs, and thus to Microsoft, saidBaker.
Microsoft generates the bulk of its Windows revenue fromselling licenses to OEMs such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard, so if PCsales stall, so do Microsoft’s income. That’s doubly true during the summer, when back-to-school salesusually boost PC numbers.