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Windows 8 $40 upgrade deal ends today

Starting tomorrow, the price for a Windows 8 upgrade jumps to $119.99 for the standard edition and $199.99 for the Pro version.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Those of you still mulling over a move to Windows 8 have less than a day to score the upgrade before the price shoots up.

The Windows 8 Pro upgrade is still available for $39.99 for Windows 7, Vista, and XP users. Even further, Windows 7 users who bought their PC after June 2 of 2012 can grab Windows 8 Pro for just $14.99.

Starting February 1, the upgrade price jumps to $119.99 for the standard version of Windows 8 and $199.99 for the Pro edition. Only qualifying students will be able to grab a discount of $69.99 for Windows 8 Pro.

However, Windows 7 users who bought their computer between June 2 of last year and January 31 of this year still have until February 28 to register for the upgrade.

You can still cash in on the current offer even if you don't plan to install Windows 8 today. As I described in my article on Monday, Windows 7 and Vista users can run the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant and choose the option to Install by creating media. That option lets you store the Windows 8 installation on a USB stick or as an ISO file that you can burn onto a DVD.

You can then tuck that USB stick or DVD safely away and use it to install Windows 8 at any point in the future. The special upgrade price expires after today, but your Windows 8 upgrade and license remain valid on into the future.

Windows XP users, however, don't have it quite as easy.

Running the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant on an XP computer does not give you an option to install by creating media. But there is a workaround.

XP users can run the Upgrade Assistant on any Windows 7 or Vista PC to create the installation media. They can then use the USB stick or DVD to install Windows 8 on their XP computer, either as an upgrade or as a clean install. My article from Monday offers more details on how to do this.

To many people, Windows 8 isn't exactly the greatest thing since sliced bread. A fair number of commenters online have expressed little or no interest in upgrading, especially when Windows 7 works perfectly fine. But those of you who want to grab a taste of Windows 8 will need to act today before the price goes sky high tomorrow.

Updated 2/6 9:20 a.m. PT to note that registration for the $14.99 offer is open until February 28.