Windows 8 goes on sale October 26th, but starting today you can pre-order a copy of Microsoft’s new operating system.
An upgrade disc (or download) will run you $69.99, while a Windows 8 OEM DVD costs $99.99. That’s the cheapest price for a full version of the operating system that you can install on a new PC. You can also get a Windows 8 Professional for $139.99.
Those prices are for the OEM/System Builder version of Windows 8. Microsoft is doing away with the “full” version of Windows with this release, and offering only two versions: Windows 8 upgrade or Windows 8 for system builders.
There’s also a cheaper way to upgrade your computer to Windows 8 — just wait until October 26th and use the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant. It will let you upgrade for $39.99.
And if you’ve bought a new PC in the last few months, you may be able to take advantage of a $14.99 upgrade offer.
Windows 8 brings advanced support for touchscreen (and touchpad) gestures, and the launch of the Windows Store for apps designed for the new Windows 8 full-screen user interface. You’ll still be able to run old-school desktop apps in Windows 8, but the Start Menu and Start button have been replaced with a Start Screen.
Windows 8 pre-orders are available at stores including:
Odds are most Windows users will switch to Windows 8 when they buy a new computer, but if you want to upgrade your existing system, the wait is almost over.