Microsoft has announced it will provide a Windows 8 Upgrade Offer for Australians who purchase a new Windows 7 PC between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013. (Download the Windows 8 Release Preview here.)
Eligible customers will be provided with a downloadable upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of $14.99 (AUD). Previous Windows upgrade offers for people buying Windows PCs in the period just before the launch of a new version of the OS have been free.
Customers will also need to apply for the upgrade before the offer expires on February 28, 2013.
The program covers Windows 7 PCs that are preinstalled with Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional or Ultimate. A matching and valid OEM Certificate of Authenticity must also be provided.
“...Many consumers want a new PC now,” said Tami Reller, chief marketing officer and chief financial officer of Windows at Microsoft. “The Windows Upgrade Offer gives people the flexibility to purchase the new Windows 7 PC they need today, with the knowledge they can easily get Windows 8 when it’s available.”
Microsoft has not given a firm date for when customers can download the upgrade, as the timing for Windows 8's launch is still currently under wraps. However, the company claims that those who register for the Windows Upgrade Offer will be able to get their hands on Windows 8 from "the day it is made available generally."
According to Microsoft, the Windows Upgrade Offer is the first of "many" consumer offers that will roll out in conjunction with Windows 8, although no further details have been given.
As mentioned, previous like-for-like WIndows Upgrade promotions have not carried an additional charge. For instance, consumers who bought Windows Vista Home during the promotional period could upgrade to the equivalent Windows 7 version for free. That said, Windows 8 Pro does include additional features missing in the basic version, such as BitLocker encryption, Hyper-V desktop virtualisation and the Windows 8 Media Center add-on pack.