windows 8 launch

Microsoft today released Windows 8 to the world.

If you have a computer that running either Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, you may head over to windows.com to buy your own upgrade copy of Windows 8 Pro (Professional) edition for $39.99 (or INR1,999 if you are in India). This is an extremely reasonable price and it will stay valid until January, 2013.

Prior to releasing the full version of Windows 8, Microsoft had offered a release preview edition that allowed enthusiasts to evaluate the new software before making the switch. Now that Windows 8 final is available, the release preview edition has been pulled from the Microsoft website.

That said, if you would like to try out Windows 8 before buying the upgrade pack, here’s an easy way. Go to msdn.microsoft.com, scroll to the bottom of the page and you’ll find links to download the 90-day trial edition of Windows 8. Microsoft provides these evaluation copies for developers but even consumers can download them for trying Windows 8.

A word of caution though. These are evaluation copies that will expire after 90 days and cannot be upgraded to the final edition. You should therefore create a bootable Windows 8 DVD from the evaluation ISOs and either set them up in a dual-boot environment or, better still, setup a Virtual Machine.