Microsoft opens registration for Windows 8

If you bought a Windows 7 computer on June 2 or later, you can snag a Windows 8 upgrade for $14.99. All others will pay a slightly steeper price. 

A photographer snaps a shot of a line of the Windows 8-powered Surface tablets at an event in Los Angeles.

In late October, Microsoft will release Windows 8, its long-awaited, mobile-friendly operating system. 

And beginning today, current Windows users can pre-register for a Windows 8 upgrade. Here's how it works: If you purchased a Windows 7 computer or tablet on June 2 or later, you can snag Windows 8 Pro for $14.99. If you purchased a Windows 7 computer or tablet on June 1 or earlier – or if you have a Windows XP or Windows Vista machine – the Windows 8 upgrade will set you back 39 bucks. 

Ready to sign up? Navigate over to this landing page. You'll need "information about your Windows 7 PC purchase – including date of purchase, retailer, and PC brand and model," according to Brandon LeBlanc of Microsoft. "You should also have your 25-digit Windows 7 product key that came with the PC handy as you may be required to enter this as part of the registration."

In a blog post today, LeBlanc warned that the upgrade discount will only last until Feb. 28 of next year. 

Microsoft exec Steve Sinofsky recently announced that Windows 8 has been officially released to hardware manufacturers, which will begin to incorporate the operating system into tablets, computers, and smartphones. Windows 8 PCs are expected to become available on Oct. 26, with Windows 8 tablets – including the Microsoft Surface – not far behind. 

Meanwhile, we may see a Windows 8 phone, manufactured by Nokia, as soon as early September. 

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