Buyers of new Win7 PCs to get cheap Win8 upgrades

Windows 8 is coming later this year, as almost everyone knows—and that might make some folks think twice about buying a Windows 7 machine in the meantime. How can Microsoft stop PC sales from falling off a cliff? Historically, the company has offered free upgrades to its next OS during the few months preceding its release.

With Windows 8, things are going to be a little different.

According to Paul Thurrott, Microsoft's latest upgrade promotion will allow owners of new Windows 7 PCs to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro... but they'll have to shell out $14.99 for the privilege. And only Windows 8 Pro will be available as part of the program. The vanilla edition of Windows 8 won't be offered at a discount to Windows 7 users.

The promotion will reportedly kick off on June 2. That "coincides roughly" with the arrival of the Windows 8 Release Preview, which is due out in the first week of June.

ZDNet posted a similar story last week, albeit without pricing details; it included a screenshot of a promotional page on Microsoft's website with the words, "Buy a Windows 7 PC and get Windows 8 Pro for $XX.XX.*" Thurrott attributes the information in his story to his own sources, but he also links the ZDNet article.

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