Microsoft's Windows 8 pricing strategy has been leaked thanks to anonymous source for The Verge. Windows 8 Pro will launch at a promotional price of $70 which will continue through to January 31 next year. At that point, it will revert to $199.
Users who buy a machine with Windows 8 loaded on it will also have the option to upgrade to the Pro version in a retail box for $70 initially, where upon it will increase to $100 also on January 31. Microsoft has previously announced that Windows XP, Vista and 7 users will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $40 if users are prepared to forgo the DVD; however, it is unclear at this time if Microsoft plans to continue this offer beyond the January 31 cut-off. The retail version will be available in stores from October 26.
Windows 8 is a significant gamble from Microsoft, with early impressions about the OS receiving mixed reviews. In many ways, Windows 8 is a response to the success that Apple has enjoyed with its iPad. However, while Apple has taken a course of action with its desktop OS that adapts aspects of iOS functional features, it has applied them to what is essentially a traditional desktop OS paradigm.
Microsoft has added a completely touch-based start screen which users can opt to function in entirely if they choose - alternatively, the traditional desktop is still available, albeit without, and controversially so, the Windows start button. It will remain to be seen if its aggressive pricing strategy will bolster its more widespread adoption.