Windows 8 price to rise 500% next week

For those considering a move to Windows 8: If you don’t do it soon, the upgrade could get a lot more expensive. 

Microsoft’s initial pricing scheme was compared to what Apple has done with its recent Mac OS X upgrades — the latest version, Mountain Lion, was first sold for $29.99 before the price dropped to $19.99. However after the $39.99 promotional rate expires, Windows 8 pricing will be more in line with what Windows users are used to.

The majority of businesses appear to be shunning Windows 8 and plan to stick with Microsoft’s older operating systems for as long as they can.

Despite those plans, some experts have pointed out that Windows 8 does have several benefits that make it worth consideration for businesses. For example, most agree the upgrade improves security and includes several features that could make fleets of PCs easier to manage.

Also, many observers have pointed to the increased use of tablets and other mobile devices as a reason to consider switching to Windows 8, which is both a desktop and tablet OS.

For consumers and businesses purchasing copies of the OS in smaller quantities, now may be the time to buy a Windows 8 upgrade, as the OS’s prices are set to rise sharply in the near future.

At the end of January, prices for individual upgrades to Windows 8 will increase to as much as five times what they currently are, Microsoft recently announced.

Due to Microsoft’s initial promotional pricing, users currently running XP, Vista or Windows 7 can purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $39.99. However, the promotion will end on January 31, after the upgrade will be sold for $199.99.

In addition, an upgrade to plain Windows 8 (not the Pro edition) will cost $119.99, and Microsoft will sell a $99.99 package which upgrades that edition to Windows 8 Pro, up from $69.99.

Also, the currently free Windows 8 Media Center Pack will cost $9.99 after January 31.