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FAQ: The ins and out of Windows 8 pricing

Gregg Keizer | Oct. 16, 2012
Microsoft and its retail partners revealed a few more details about Windows 8 pricing, clarifying what the Redmond, Wash., developer has purposefully left muddy in the months leading up to its release next week. We try to answer the most-pressing questions.

What if I hate Windows 8? How much will it cost me to get Windows 7 back? Depends.

If it's an old PC you've upgraded to Windows 8 Pro, it should cost you nothing except a lot of time. You'll need to reinstall the previous OS from your media -- which is why it's a good idea to make sure you have it before you try Windows 8 -- and all your applications, as well as restore your files and other data from a backup.

But if you bought a new PC with the new OS already installed, you may need to pony up. Only Windows 8 Pro comes with "downgrade" rights, and then only to Windows 7 Professional, so you'll need media for the latter to use the license that came with the machine.

If you don't have that media, or have Windows 8 on the PC, you'll have to fork over for a new Windows 7 license. Your best bet: A System Builder-like "OEM" Windows 7 license. As we said earlier, Amazon sells that for $92 for Windows 7 Home Premium, $128 for Windows 7 Professional. On Newegg, the prices are $99.99 and $139.99, respectively.

 

 

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