Unlike previous versions of Windows, Windows 8 will not have retail copies that can be installed without owning a license for an older version of Microsoft’s operating system.
Based on information supplied by Microsoft, this means that users will need a version of Windows XP with Service Pack 3, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 to use a retail pack bought on launch day.
Users that are unable to use the upgrade for whatever reason, will need to buy a “system builder” (OEM/DSP) version of the operating system. This has different licensing terms to normal retail copies, as system builder copies of Microsoft’s software are licensed to a computer, not a person.
According to the Microsoft website, users are allowed to upgrade most hardware without it being considered a new computer. When switching out a motherboard that isn’t defective, however, Microsoft considers a machine a new computer that needs a new OEM license.
This means that the understanding that Groupon’s special on Windows 8 Pro for R599 was a “full retail” copy was incorrect.
The deal is still R100 cheaper than the offer announced by Incredible Connection for R699.95 for the Windows 8 Pro upgrade.
According to Groupon, the normal price of these upgrades will be around R2,000.
This is in line with the pricing reported by Best Buy and Amazon who also have Windows 8 Pro available at introductory pricing of around $70, with the normal retail price listed as $200.