FAQ: Microsoft offers cheapest-ever Windows upgrade
Vista-to-Windows 8 transfers settings and data files, while XP moves the least, just personal files.
Can I upgrade from one of the Windows 8 previews Microsoft has shipped this year? Maybe.
In follow-up answers, Microsoft said that users running Windows 8 Release Preview -- the newer of the two sneak peeks, shipped on May 31 -- can upgrade using the Windows.com upgrade tool and pay the $40.
However, the only bits that are retained during that upgrade are personal data files. Other elements, including the applications, Windows settings and user accounts that migrate from Windows 7, do not.
So, for anyone running Windows 8 Release Candidate, the "upgrade" is only as effective as that from ... wait for it ... the 11-year-old Windows XP, which also keeps only personal files. Go figure.
Although Microsoft did not spell out what options are available to those who stuck with 2011's Developer Preview or the February 2012 Consumer Preview, our assumption is that such an upgrade won't be supported.
I don't live in the U.S. Is the deal for me too? Yes, the promotion will be available in 131 countries and Windows 8 Pro comes in 37 languages.
Microsoft has already listed the countries and languages in this FAQ for the Windows Upgrade Offer, the $14.99 program for buyers of new Windows PCs.
Is there a Family Pack? No, not with this upgrade offer.
Microsoft's Family Pack for Windows 7 -- a three-install upgrade bundle the company sold in 2009, pulled off the market but then restored in 2010 -- brought the per-PC price down to $50 ... as long as the number of machines you wanted to update came in increments of three.
In this deal, users simply pay $40 per PC, with no additional volume discounts.
I used a Family Pack, which supplied one product key for Windows 7 upgrades to three of my PCs. Since they're all under the same license, do I buy just one Windows 8 upgrade to migrate all three machines, or do I have to buy three new upgrades? The second.
"Each PC you have installed Windows 7 on via the Windows 7 Family Pack can be upgraded one at a time ... for $39.99 [each]," said Microsoft spokesman Brandon LeBlanc in a reply to one of the hundreds of comments posted on the blog that announced the deal this week.
Is there a limit to the number of PCs I can upgrade? Yes, five.
We're not sure how Microsoft is going to enforce this, but officially any one user can only obtain five upgrades at the $40 price. Like the similar restriction for the free upgrade that will be offered to buyers of Windows 7 PCs -- the $14.99 deal Microsoft announced at the end of May -- it's an attempt to weed out businesses that might try to take advantage of the low price rather than subscribe to expensive volume licensing contracts such as Software Assurance.
- Microsoft again writes off Surface inventory, renews profitability doubts
- Lenovo spins 180, says it's still in the 8-in. Windows tablet game
- Google starts work on Chrome bug that slurps Windows laptop juice
- Surface survives Microsoft cuts, but tablet strategy remains muddled
- Why Microsoft isn't spooked by the Apple-IBM alliance
- Microsoft plans price war to stymie Chromebook growth
- China calls the iPhone and iOS 7 threats to national security
- Russian Windows leaker denies link to ex-Microsoft worker who stole trade secrets
- Patch alert: Update browsers' Flash ASAP to block log-on theft
- Microsoft slates critical IE, Windows patches for Tuesday
- A Reference Architecture for the Internet of Things The aim of this is to provide Architects and Developers of IoT projects with an effective starting point that covers the major requirements...
- How to Reduce Hardware & Infrastructure Costs Through Data In this paper, we take a look at how organizations are revisiting their network and server architecture in a bid to address the...
- Software Build Acceleration, Analytics and Build Clouds Discover how to dramatically speed up software builds by automatically distributing build jobs over scalable resource clouds and multi-core desktops, with potential savings...
- Printer Installer: Eliminating Print Servers Printer Installer is an on-premise web application that enables you to centrally manage and deploy Windows shared or direct iP printers.
- What should I look for in a Next Generation Firewall? SANS Provides Guidance With so many vendors claiming to have a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), it can be difficult to tell what makes each one different....
- Why Are Customers Really Deploying an NGFW? It seems every IT Security expert is talking about the NGFW, but what are people really doing? This webcast covers 5 real-world customer... All Hardware White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!