Don't let the fact that Microsoft's
getting ready to release Windows 8
stop you from purchasing a Windows 7 system. For one, there's no guarantee that the Metro-infused follow-up will be a worthy successor to Microsoft's finest OS to date. But if it does turn out that way, you'll be able to upgrade to the latest and greatest for $15, Microsoft confirmed today.
The way it works is if you buy a qualified Windows 7 PC between June 2, 2012 (that's tomorrow, folks, not today) and January 31, 2013, you're eligible for the discounted upgrade offer to Windows 8 Pro. You'll have until February 28, 2013 to register and order your Windows 8 upgrade.
So what ranks as a qualified PC? In Microsoft's words:
The offer is for customers (e.g. Home users, students, and enthusiasts) who purchase a qualified PC. A qualified PC is a new PC purchased during the promotional period with a valid Windows 7 OEM Certificate of Authenticity and product key for, and preinstalled with:
The promotional price is limited to one upgrade offer per PC purchased, and a maximum limit of five upgrade offers per customer.
- Windows 7 Home Basic;
- Windows 7 Home Premium;
- Windows 7 Professional; or
- Windows 7 Ultimate.
That's not a bad deal, assuming Windows 8 ends up being well received. If you plan on going that route, be sure to read through Microsoft's lengthy FAQ
. Once you're finished, you can fill out a short form
to be notified when Microsoft's Windows Upgrade Offer site will officially open for business.