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Windows 8 pricing has been unveiled by Microsoft, with online upgrades from $39.99, along with the rather fetching eco-friendly box art for those who still enjoy packaged versions of their software. 

Still Paying the Windows Tax?

Starting today, U.S. PC users will be able to pre-order their Windows 8 Upgrades on DVD for US$ 69.99. For those who don't need the disc, the online upgrade is available from $39.99 in a promotion that will last until the end of next January.  

For some reason there, are five different pieces of box art for the same Windows 8 Pro upgrade, but they are now made from all-paper materials to reduce production costs, greenhouse gas emissions and to reduce transport weight. 

Pre-orders for new Windows 8 PCs are also kicking off today from the likes of ASUS, Dell, HP, Samsung and Sony, among other partners. They'll all be keen for their new generation devices to go flying off the shelves.

While there is no "Full version" of the new OS to buy directly, the prices of Upgrade and OEM versions are appearing online at various retailers, for example New Egg is listing:

Windows 8 Professional Upgrade – $69.99 (saving $130)
Windows 8 Professional Pack – Product Key Card (no media) - $69.99 (saving $30)
Windows 8 (Full Version) – OEM Version $99.99
Windows 8 Pro (Full Version) – OEM Version $139.99

Windows Around the World

This comes hot on the heels of the news that Microsoft Office 2013 has gone gold and will soon be available, creating huge possibilities for those looking to upgrade their systems. Will Windows 8 be the massive event Microsoft is planning on? 

With the keen pricing and the huge amount of hype on the way, Windows 8 could well kick-start a new love affair with Windows for some. But, for the hundreds of millions of Windows 7 users, will all the slick new features and sexy hardware be enough to relaunch a floundering industry?

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Pricing for other territories will be announced soon with global buyers hoping that there is minimal upswing in the conversion rates from dollars to their local currency.