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10/12/2012
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Windows 8 Prices Revealed Online

Major online retailer posts pricing and shipping dates for Microsoft's new, radically redesigned operating system.

8 Key Differences Between Windows 8 And Windows RT
8 Key Differences Between Windows 8 And Windows RT
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
A major online retailer is hawking Windows 8 a full fortnight before Microsoft plans to formally release the operating system.

Newegg, which caters to tech enthusiasts and hobbyists, features several versions of Windows 8 for sale on its website. It's selling both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 8 professional for $139, and 32- and 64-bit versions of the standard edition for $99.

The e-tailer indicates that the software is available for pre-order only. Microsoft does not plan to formally release Windows 8 until Oct. 26.

Newegg isn't the first merchant to jump the gun on Windows 8. Home Shopping Network, to the chagrin of Microsoft and its partners, put Win8 systems up for sale earlier this week.

[ Get expert guidance on Microsoft Windows 8. InformationWeek's Windows 8 Super Guide rounds up the key news, analysis, and reviews that you need. ]

HSN was pitching five Windows 8 systems: three from Gateway, and two from Acer. A 23-inch Gateway all-in-one touchscreen computer was available for a whopping $1,200, even though it only features Intel's Core i5 chip, not the higher-end Core i7. Another Gateway system running Core i3 was priced at $700. It could also be had for four "flex payments" of about $175 each.

HSN was also pitching a Windows 8 laptop from Acer for $999. It featured a 15.6-inch touch screen, Core i5 processor, and 8 GB of RAM. The site now lists the products as sold out, though some reports indicate that Microsoft ordered a takedown.

Meanwhile, PC makers are starting to announce their own Windows 8 plans. Acer on Thursday debuted the Aspire M5-481PT. It boasts a 14-inch display that can handle up to ten touch-points, allowing users to efficiently touch, tap, swipe, or zoom their way through apps and documents, using both hands if they wish. The system starts at $799.

Windows 8 represents the most radical redesign of Windows since Windows 95, which introduced familiar features like the Start button and Task Bar. In Windows 8, Start is replaced by a home screen featuring Live Tiles, from which users can access apps, information services, and documents.

Microsoft plans to formally release Windows 8 at a high-profile event in New York City on Oct. 26. It will promote the new operating system through, among other things, seasonal pop-up stores in high-profile locations like New York City's Times Square and the Shops at North Bridge in Chicago, as well as 32 other locations in North America.

Upgrading isn't the easy decision that Win 7 was. We take a close look at Server 2012, changes to mobility and security, and more in the new Here Comes Windows 8 issue of InformationWeek. Also in this issue: Why you should have the difficult conversations about the value of OS and PC upgrades before discussing Windows 8. (Free registration required.)

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