Between a bevy of under-the-hood improvements--once you're used to Windows 8's ultrafast boot times, going back to a Windows 7 PC is excruciating --and the seamless, multi-PC experience enabled by the cloud connectivity of SkyDrive and a Microsoft Account, Windows 8 basically feels like a smarter, faster, better version of its predecessor after you've tweaked it to your liking and spent some time learning its nuances.
I dig it. You might not, and as I said, Windows 8 is far from a must-have upgrade for Windows 7 users. If you're at all inquisitive about the operating system, however, sating your curiosity for $40 makes more fiscal sense than doing it for $200--especially considering Windows 8's divisive reception. You could always dual-boot Windows 8 alongside Windows 7 if you're scared of diving in whole-hog.
Whew! Now it's time to talk dollars and cents. Here are the new price points for Windows 8 products as of February 1, 2013.
- Windows 8 Pro upgrade -- $199.99
- Windows 8 "standard" upgrade -- $119.99
- Windows 8 Pro Pack (upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro) -- $99.99
- Windows 8 Media Center Pack (add Windows Media Center and DVD playback to Windows 8 Pro) -- $9.99
The decision seems like a no-brainer. If you plan on upgrading your Windows 7, Vista, or XP system to Windows 8 at any point in the future and you have the extra $40 to spend now, you definitely want to buy an upgrade license while they're cheap, especially since that $40 gets you the fuller-fledged "Pro" version of the operating system.