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Microsoft hikes up price of Windows 8 by 400 per cent

Windows 8's introductory offer is about to end, with a price hike coming into effect at the start of February.

Bad news if you want to upgrade to Windows 8 but are yet to do so. Microsoft has announced its introductory offer will end on 1 February. From then on, in the US, instead of costing $40 to upgrade to Windows 8, it'll set you back $120, or $200 for Windows 8 Pro.

There's no word on what the new UK price will be, but I'm expecting a similar hike. In fact, getting my calculator out, if Microsoft raises it by the same amount for us Brits, Windows 8 Pro will jump from £25 to about £125. Ouch.

So if you haven't upgraded yet but intend to do so, you'd better get downloading.

Windows 8 brings with it a whole new interface that uses 'tiles', animated rectangles that can display live information. It's a world away from previous versions of Windows, with quicker log-in and boot-up times, and the ability to sync between your PC and tablet. However, sales have so far failed to set the world alight, according to reports.

Sales of Windows 8 PCs are "well below Microsoft's internal projections" one report says. Fujitsu has suffered a slump in sales of computers running the operating system, too, and blames it on the fact Microsoft's OS is "weak". One study showed just 39 percent of people were planning on upgrading to the latest version.

Acer has also joined in the Microsoft-bashing, saying it doesn't stand a chance against Apple. It's hardly been a swinging start for Windows 8.

Still though, Microsoft says it's sold 60 million copies of the operating system, while sales of its Surface tablet -- which runs Windows RT -- have been "modest". I can't see a spike in sales after this price hike though.

What do you think of the price? Is Windows 8 any good? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.

Update: A previous version of this story incorrectly said Microsoft was increasing prices by 500 per cent. This has been corrected. A more recent link to Microsoft's statement on how many copies of Windows 8 have been sold has also been added.