Win 8 Pro upgrade jumps from $40 to $200 come February 1

Existing Windows licensees have until January 31 to get Windows 8 Pro on the cheap. After that, the promo price vanishes and upgrade costs head upward.

When Microsoft announced last year a "limited time offer" for Windows 8 upgrade pricing, some thought -- or at least hoped -- the discounted price might be indefinite.

Microsoft officials announced on January 18 that this will not be the case.

After January 31, the $40 upgrade price will end. Starting February 1, the Windows 8 upgrade (from previous Windows home/consumer SKUs) will cost $120. The Windows 8 Pro upgrade will cost $200.

Currently, Microsoft is charging $40 for an upgrade license to Windows 8 Pro from Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7.

Testers who've been working with Windows 8 preview builds also have been eligible for the $40 upgrade price. The Windows 8 preview builds (Developer Preview, Consumer Preview, and Release Preview) all expired earlier this week. After that time, users with those builds will notice that Windows 8 will restart every hour "until they've installed a released (RTM) version of Windows," a Microsoft representative confirmed earlier this week.

Here's information on what users upgrading from XP, Vista, and Windows 7 can expect to migrate (and not) when upgrading to Windows 8.

This story originally appeared on ZDNet under the headline "Microsoft's Windows 8 upgrade promotion really is ending on January 31."

Featured Video

Why do so many of us still buy cars with off-road abilities?

Cities are full of cars like the Subaru XV that can drive off-road but will never see any challenging terrain. What drives us to buy cars with these abilities when we don't really need them most of the time?

by Drew Stearne