Microsoft's introductory Windows 8 upgrade offer is a pretty sweet deal. Through January 31, 2013 owners of a licensed copy of Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7 can purchase Windows 8 for just $40. But there's an interesting twist to the offer that wasn't previously announced. It turns out that the discounted upgrade is going be offered to users of the Windows 8 Release Preview, too.
That's an even better deal, since the Preview doesn't cost anything. That means if you've built your own computer or have a machine running an alternative OS, you're not necessarily stuck paying full price for an OEM or retail copy of Windows 8.
There's a slight downside, however. You won't be able to migrate all of your data during the upgrade process. If you've used the Windows Store to install apps, they'll be easy enough to reinstall and your personal files and settings will be moved over, too. Desktop apps and games won't be moved, and you may lose your preferences for some programs � depending on where their settings files are saved.
It's a small price to pay to get your hands on a fully licensed copy of Windows 8 Pro (and the optional Media Center Pack)� for a small price.
According to Computerworld, this isn't a U.S.-only offer, either. Windows 8 Release Preview users in more than 30 countries will be able to take advantage of the savings when the upgrade is released to manufacturers later this year.
One stipulation worth noting is that Microsoft is putting a cap of 5 upgrades per user. They haven't clarified how this will be done yet, but if you're planning on moving a whole fleet of machines to Windows 8 you might need to use a backup credit card and email address.