Microsoft is set to launch Windows 8 this fall. That may be good news or bad, depending on what you think about the new Metro user interface, Windows Store, and Windows RT for tablets and other computers with ARM-based processors.

But since most PCs sold later this year will ship with Windows 8, you may wonder whether it’s a good idea to buy a computer that runs Windows 7 this summer.

CNET reports Microsoft will soon launch a program that gives shoppers coupons for Windows 8 when they buy Windows 7 computers. That’s something the company has done for the past few Windows releases in order to help keep PC sales steady throughout the year — even at times when some shoppers might want to hold off until a new operating system is available.

Windows 8

But according to CNET’s Mary Jo Foley this year’s promotion might be a little different from some past deals.

Instead of allowing customers to upgrade to Windows 8, the coupons will be for upgrades to Windows 8 Pro. That’s the version that includes premium features such as disk encryption, remote desktop, group policies, and more.

Because we’re talking about the Pro version of Windows 8, it’s likely that Microsoft will offer deep discounts on the operating system for customers that buy Windows 7 PCs… but the upgrades probably won’t be free.

Update: Paul Thurrott reports that upgrades will cost about $15, but that price has not been confirmed by Microsoft.

Update: Microsoft has confirmed plans to run a Windows Upgrade Offer program for Windows 7 PCs purchased between June 2nd, 2012 and January 31st, 2013. Upgrades will cost $14.99.

According to CNET the promotion will likely launch in early June and run through January.

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3 replies on “Buy a Windows 7 PC this summer, get a Windows 8 upgrade coupon?”

  1. Hmm, the problem is that Microsoft is doing a horrible job marketing Windows 8. I was really excited, then I got to actually download the beta and install it and try to do things, and watch metro apps fail to move off my primary monitor on a 4 monitor workstation, and try to avoid stressing the Core i7 with 4 cores and 8 threads, and 32gb of ram and… I was fairly unimpressed. Then I tried to actually mimic what I do for a living on it and it failed utterly, which wasn’t too shocking it’s still beta after all but…

    I don’t see this going well for Microsoft. Not on the desktop. I hope for their sake that I’m wrong, but this may be as bad a blunder as Vista. I really need to get the RC and give that a proper shake, but so far I’ve had far more moments of hair tearing frustration with the OS than moments where the upgrade actually did something that I appreciated as a user. Which is a shame, because as a developer it has a lot of things to like.

    1. Well, let’s make clear you have not downloaded a beta version yet.

      People tend to call all sample releases Beta but Beta versions are near final versions of a product and the first Preview was just Windows 7 with Metro thrown on top and the second was only a little further along.

      So you actually only viewed the Alpha releases that MS just released to get developers started on Metro apps and give the public some idea of how Windows 8 could work on tablets.

      The actual Beta is the Release Candidate and it’s still over a month away from release and it’ll be then we’ll see if they really messed up or not.

      Mind the emphasis is for getting Windows on mobile devices like Tablets right now and those are the biggest changes for Windows and something they’ve never been able to do before.

      Meaning they probably felt they had a lot to prove and may have just over emphasized those changes.

      So it remains to be seen if they actually did so at the cost of proper desktop support as a lot of people seem to be assuming or they just saved those changes for last on their to do list.

  2. I want a free Windows 7 downgrade if one buys a PC that is cursed with preloaded Windows 8.

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