Buy a computer that ships with Windows 10 S right now and you have the option of switching to Windows 10 Pro for free… for a limited time. Microsoft still hasn’t said how long that deal will stick around. But according to a report from Brad Sams, now we know how much the upgrade will cost when the free offer expires: $49.
Sams says that figure comes from “some content being shared with select partners” that provides information about Windows 10 pricing.
Interestingly, Sams says Windows 10 S will also no longer be positioned as a separate version of Windows. Instead, it’ll be a “mode.” For example there could be a Windows 10 Home S and a Windows 10 Pro S. And if you buy a PC that comes with S mode, it sounds like you’ll eventually have to pay to upgrade to a version that can run apps from outside the Microsoft Store.
Update: It looks like upgrading from Windows 10 Home S or Windows 10 Education S will continue to be free, while upgrading from Windows 10 Pro S to Windows 10 Pro will cost $49.
Update 3/07/2018: Or maybe upgrading will be free for all editions.
For the most part the documents seem to explain how much PC makers will have to pay for Windows licenses that they pre-install on notebook, tablet, and desktop computers. But knowing that number helps explain the cost of some computers.
For example, a Windows license for notebooks and 2-in-1 tablets with Intel Atom, Celeron, and Pentium chips only costs PC makers $25… as long as that computer has 4GB of RAM or less and 32GB of solid state storage or less. The same restrictions apply to small all-in-one desktops with 17 inch or smaller screens.
Double the solid state storage or use a hard drive up to 500GB and the price of a Windows license goes up to $45.
Add a more powerful processor or more memory and it goes even higher. All told, Sams says there are 5 levels:
- Entry – $25
- Value – $45
- Core – $65.45
- Core+ – $86.66
- Advanced – $101
Sams says those new prices should start kicking in April 2nd. Keep in mind, that Microsoft hasn’t publicly confirmed these details, and the company could always work out separate pricing details for specific hardware partners. So nothing is written in stone here.