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Microsoft to offer Windows 8 Pro upgrade for $15

Windows 7 buyers can upgrade to next version of Microsoft's operating system for minimal fee from next month.

Windows 8

Microsoft will allow buyers of Windows 7 PCs to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $14.99 from 2 June.

The promotion is designed to prevent a slump in PC sales before the launch of the latest iteration of Microsoft's operating system.

In the past, the software giant has offered users free OS upgrades, according to Paul Thurrott from the Supersite for Windows Blog.

The timing of the offer is set to coincide with the release of the final Windows 8 Release Preview.

"Instead of offering a free upgrade to the version of Windows 8 that most closely matches the version of Windows 7 a user buys with a new PC, Microsoft will [be] offering only the higher-end Windows 8 Pro," he noted.

"The timing of the offer coincides roughly with the release of the final Windows 8 pre-release milestone, the so-called Release Preview, which Microsoft previously said was due in the first week of June."

There is no word yet on how much the offer is expected to cost in the UK, but similar pricing is expected. The offer could be attractive for SMBs who are considering upgrading their PCs.

Microsoft is expected to launch the Windows 8 in the second half of 2012.

Windows 8 Pro has the most comprehensive feature set for everyday users, but also has business functionality. The operating system will support BitLocker and BitLocker To Go and Client Hyper-V. It will also boast Remote Desktop functionality and allow users to boot from a Virtual Hard Disk (VHD).

A number of tablets are expected to be released as Microsoft has optimised the platform for touch screens with the Metro UI and Windows RT is compatible with energy efficient ARM-based chips.

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