Microsoft, in an effort to drive sales of what is certainly the most radical and controversial update to Windows in a decade, initially opted to put price the OS at $39.99. Truly a bargain, especially given all of the new features and design changes.
But that price won’t last forever: after January 31st, Windows 8 Pro will cost $199.
Given that Microsoft makes the vast majority of its profit off of software sales, it makes sense that Windows is so much more expensive than, say, Mac OS X. Since Apple makes most of its money from sales of hardware, this allows them to sell software for much less than the competition. Of course, Apple’s higher-priced computers tend to make up for this.
Windows 8, as mentioned before, has been a very controversial update. While the Metro interface is beautiful, it has been criticized as being incomplete and more attuned to the needs of tablet users than those of traditional computer users. Regardless, it does also bring about major performance enhancements, as well as access to software services that will thrive on Windows for years to come. For those reasons, and its current low price, it’s certainly worth an upgrade.