Microsoft's Windows 8 is set for a release date this October, and as the summer comes to a close more information about the next-generation operating system has begun to leak. The newest bit of information concerns the higher-end version of the software, known as Windows 8 Pro.
The price for Windows 8 Pro has been revealed, The Verge reported, and will cost $199 after a promotional price of $69.99 expires on Jan. 31, 2013. A source familiar with Microsoft's plans shared this information with the tech news website, and Microsoft will also offer a Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro upgrade available at retail locations for $69.99 until Jan. 31.
It was previously reported that Microsoft is offering a Windows 8 Pro upgrade for existing Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 users for a price of $39.99. This is a deal exclusive to online customers wishing to download the software without the DVD.
However, Microsoft users looking to purchase the upcoming operating system may be getting more than new software with their purchase. The Redmond, Wash.-based company has rolled out another promotional deal for students, catering to the college community.
Any student purchasing a PC for college may be eligible to get a free Xbox. If college students purchase a Windows PC at a participating retailer, they will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 in the fall for $14.99 and will get a free Xbox with their purchase.
"All you really need for college," the advertisement reads.
However, there has been some controversy surrounding Microsoft's Windows 8 release, such as chief of Valve Gabe Newell's comment that Windows 8 is a "catastrophe for everyone in the PC space." Valve is one of the leading PC gaming companies on the market, and it wasn't long before other big shots followed suit such as Rob Pardo of Activision Blizzard and "Minecraft" creator Markus Persson.
Could these promotional deals be an attempt to win over the gaming community and the college crowd? Microsoft is launching Windows 8 just after the release date for Apple's highly anticipated iPhone 5 and rumored iPad Mini is expected to come.
Microsoft released the final build of Windows 8 last week, known as RTM, to developers and manufacturers. However, some critics aren't confident in Microsoft's next-generation product,
"So how will it look when it lands on your desktop on Oct. 26?" questions Sean Ludwig of Venture Beat. "Based on my tests, not very well. In fact, if you're still using a desktop PC, you're probably going to dislike Windows 8."
Microsoft is working to make Windows 8 a seamless operating system that works across all of its devices, with the exception of smartphones. But the company is creating the operating system and the Windows Phone 8 software with a shared kernel, meaning that it should be easier for developers to create apps for both platforms. While this sounds helpful, as Ludwig acknowledges, this could be problematic since working on a desktop is different from working on a tablet or other mobile devices.
"With Windows 8, Microsoft favors tablets, touchscreens, and laptops with modern touchpads," Ludwig writes. "It works very well for these kinds of computers. Traditional desktops with a keyboard and mouse, on the other hand, have been left in the dust."
The price for Microsoft's Surface tablet was also allegedly revealed recently, and the tablet is believed to cost $199.