Want to take advantage of Microsoft’s $40 upgrade offer to get your hands on Windows 8 this fall? It turns out you don’t necessarily need a computer running Windows 7, Vista, or XP to upgrade. You can also upgrade from the Windows 8 Release Preview which was released to the public in May.
Here’s why that’s a little surprising. The Windows 8 Release Preview is available as a free download. That means you can basically get yourself a full Windows 8 Pro license later this year for just $40. All you need to do that is to download and install the pre-release version while it’s still available and then use the Windows upgrade tool when it’s available.
ComputerWorld confirmed with Microsoft that computers running Windows 8 Release Preview would qualify for the $40 upgrade deal which will run through January.
Admittedly, this probably won’t affect a ton of people. If you’re reading this, odds are you already have an operating system such as Windows, Mac, or Linux on your computer. If you’re a Windows user, you already get to upgrade for $40. If you’re not… then you probably don’t care much about Windows 8 anyway.
Still, this is good news for anyone that’s already running Windows 8 Release Preview as their primary operating system and doesn’t want to switch back to Windows 7 just to upgrade.
It’s also a pretty good deal for anyone looking to build their own PC from scratch or looking to install Windows on a Mac using Boot Camp.
Unfortunately upgrading from Windows 8 Release Preview to Windows 8 Pro using Microsoft’s tool won’t preserve your apps and settings — just data files stored on your computer.