Starting at general availability, if your PC is running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 you will qualify to download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just $39.99 in 131 markets. And if you want, you can add Windows Media Center for free through the “add features” option within Windows 8 Pro after your upgrade.
When you use Windows.com to purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant makes upgrading simple by walking you through the upgrade process step-by-step from purchase to download and then of course installation.
The Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant will check to make sure your PC is ready for Windows 8. It will provide a detailed compatibility report that lets you know of anything you may have to address before or after the upgrade and outlines actions to take.
It will also inform you of any application or device compatibility issues. It will ask you what you want to keep from your current Windows installation. You will be able to upgrade from any consumer edition of Windows 7 to Windows 8 Pro and bring everything along which includes your Windows settings, personal files, and apps. If you are upgrading from Windows Vista, you will be able to bring along your Windows settings and personal files, and if you are upgrading from Windows XP you will only be able to bring along your personal files. Of course, if you want to start fresh, you can choose to bring nothing along. Or if you prefer to format your hard drive as part of your upgrade experience, you can do so as long as you boot from media and then format your hard drive from within the setup experience for installing Windows 8, not prior to it.
Once you purchase your upgrade, the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant kicks off your download. It has a built-in download manager that allows you to pause and continue your download at any time as well as a check to ensure your download completes successfully.
After your download finishes, you can choose to proceed with the upgrade (“Install now”) or install later either from your desktop or by creating your own media. If you choose to create your own media, you will be able to create your own bootable USB or .ISO file which can be burned onto a DVD for upgrade and backup purposes. If you prefer, you also have the option of purchasing a backup DVD for $15 plus shipping and handling.
If you prefer to shop at a local store, a packaged DVD version of the upgrade to Windows 8 Pro will be available for $69.99 during this promotion.
This upgrade promotion for Windows 8 Pro both online and at retail runs through January 31st, 2013.
The Windows Blog