Windows 8 OEM pricing revealed as hardware pre-orders begin

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We're just a few weeks away from the long-awaited launch of Windows 8 and online retailer Newegg has just tipped its hand and revealed a variety of new pricing details. For the first time, we're seeing prices for the "OEM system builder" versions of Windows 8 — the standard version of the OS will cost $99.99, while the Pro version will cost $139.99. Both 32- and 64-bit versions are currently available for preorder. As we heard a few months ago, the Windows 8 Professional upgrade (with physical media) will cost $69.99, but that's only an introductory price — its full price will be $199.99. Lastly, there's a Windows 8 "Pro Pack" for $69.99, with no physical media. This upgrade lets you move your Windows 8 standard software to Pro and adds Media Center capabilities (including DVD playback, which isn't included by default in Windows 8).

To coincide with more software pricing details, we're seeing some Windows 8 hardware start to hit the market for pre-sale — Dell announced this morning that pre-orders were open for three new PCs. The XPS 12 convertible tablet / laptop hybrid starts at $1,199, the touch-capable XPS One 27 all-in-one desktop starts at $1,599, and the Inspiron One 23 all-in-one starts at $999. There's also an updated version of the XPS 13 ultrabook with Windows 8 onboard (but no touchscreen) that also starts at $999. Dell's not the only one ramping up hardware pre-sales — Staples has a dedicated Windows 8 section of its site with a wide variety of pre-orders for machines from Asus, Sony, Samsung, HP, and more. With the new OS launch drawing ever-closer, we expect we'll see a lot more Windows 8-compatible hardware coming our way in the coming weeks.

Update: Microsoft has just gone and made this all official over at its blog — it confirms the $69.99 upgrades are available now from selected retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot and the Microsoft Store. Additionally, Microsoft also confirmed pre-orders for new Windows 8 hardware from Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Samsung and Sony starting today. If you've been waiting for Windows 8 before buying a new machine, it seems that wait is over.

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