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That's not true. The Windows 8 Pro "System Builder" license is the same price as 7 Pro, not "more expensive than ever." The upgrade is only $40 for the next two months, going up to $70 in February, which is the cheapest its ever been. So, they took more than a couple dollars off the price. Happy?

I'm still having the hardest time understanding why you seem to be so angry about this, of all things to focus on about Windows 8.

That's US pricing. It's different over here in Europe.

What are the prices there?

"Microsoft Windows 8 Pro 32-bit DVD - OEM" is £105 GBP (~ $170 USD).

"Microsoft Windows 8 32-bit DVD - OEM" is £77 GBP (~ $120 USD).

Prices include "sales tax" known locally as VAT.

How do those prices compare to the UK pricing for the same SKUs of Windows 7? Do you get the discounted Win8 upgrade deal there too?

Windows 7 Pro OEM = 82 GBP ex VAT

Windows 7 Home Premium OEM = 55 GBP ex VAT

Large difference!

There are a number of Win8 upgrade restrictions in the UK AFAIK including you can only upgrade retail PKUs (not previously purchased OEM ones). The deal is 25 GBP for the upgrade.

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