$15 Windows 8 upgrade ends Feb. 28

New PC buyers have just two days to apply for discount and download upgrade

Customers who purchased a Windows 7 PC from June 2012 through January 2013 have just two more days to submit their claims for a discounted copy of Windows 8, Microsoft said yesterday.

The Windows Upgrade Offer -- a $14.99 copy of Windows 8 Pro to consumers who purchased Windows 7 systems between June 2, 2012, and Jan. 31, 2013 -- expires at the end of day Thursday, Feb. 28.

Microsoft emails qualified buyers a code that they then use to obtain the discounted price for a downloaded copy of Windows 8 Pro from Windows.com. Windows 8 Pro's current list price is $199.99.

Customers must not only file for the discount before the deadline, but also redeem the offer by paying the $14.99 and downloading the upgrade.

The same date holds for anyone who had registered earlier for the upgrade discount and received the promotional code, but not yet downloaded their copy of Windows 8 Pro.

However, users do not have to actually install the $14.99 upgrade before Friday: They can, in fact, use the downloaded copy of Windows 8 Pro to instead create a bootable USB flash drive or DVD for later installation on the new PC, or any other Windows computer that they own.

Procrastinators can start the upgrade offer registration and redemption process at this Microsoft website.

Microsoft will recognize approximately $1.1 billion in deferred revenue during the current quarter from the Upgrade Offer, as it did not put the dollars on the books until users actually upgraded, or failing that, when the deal expires.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is gkeizer@ix.netcom.com.

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