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Microsoft Corp has finally opened its windows this week for upgrades to the latest version of its operating system, Windows 8. Those who own personal computers can avail of the upgrade for $14.99 to $39.99. Customers who bough their PC’s on Windows 7 since June 2 will be granted the lower price while the rest would have to pay the $40 dollar upgrade. The Windows 8 Operating Systems, however, will be delivered starting only on October 26. The latest version of the company’s OS comes as a response to rival Apple’s iPad tablets. Windows 8 has been developed to support both PC’s and tablet computers.

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by Gregg Keizer | COMPUTER WORLD

On Monday, Microsoft announced a record low price for the upcoming Windows 8, telling customers that they could upgrade their PCs — even aged machines running Windows XP — for just $39.99 later this year.

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By Mary Jo Foley for All About Microsoft via ZDNet  

Microsoft has shared with select partners some specifics about what those upgrading to Windows 8 can expect when moving from Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Read the specifics here

Windows fans, rejoice! The latest preview of Windows 8 is available for your testing pleasure.

Microsoft announced on May 31 that the Windows 8 Release Preview, the company’s final prerelease of the forthcoming OS, is now available for download in 14 different languages. You can get it right now by visiting this site here and following the download instructions.

Read more about the Windows 8 Preview

Aiming to give parents the option of keeping an eagle eye over their kid’s computer use, Microsoft revamps its parental controls in a “monitor first” approach that includes weekly reports.

Microsoft aims to give parents more control over their children’s computer use on Windows 8 with a new feature announced this week.

"With Windows 8, you can monitor what your kids are doing, no matter where they use their PC," Microsoft’s senior program manager for Family Safety Phil Sohn wrote in a blog post. "All you have to do is create a Windows user account for each child, check the box to turn on Family Safety, and then review weekly reports that describe your children’s PC use."

With these controls and weekly reports, parents will be able to keep tabs on whether their kids are playing violent online video games, looking at bikini models, or actually doing their homework. They’ll also be able to make sure their children aren’t associating with online predators.

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Within a day of Microsoft releasing the Windows 8 Consumer Preview to the general public, the company reported that more than 1 million people had downloaded the beta of the upcoming operating system.

For those considering whether to load up the Consumer Preview, Microsoft has now offered up a list of system recommendations for running the software. They include a device with a 1GHz (or faster) processor, 1GB RAM (32-bit) or 2GB RAM (64-bit), 16GB available hard-disk space (32-bit) or 20GB (64-bit), and a DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 (Windows Display Driver Model 1.0) or higher driver.

Windows 8 has been engineered to work equally well on tablets as desktops and laptops; the Metro-style start screen (Metro being the name for Microsoft’s new design aesthetic, which increasingly unites products from Windows 8 to Windows Phone) is composed of a set of colorful (and touchable) tiles linked to applications, with the “old-style” desktop interface accessible via a single click or finger tap. In theory, the evolution will allow Microsoft to hold onto the PC OS market while expanding in a major way into the mobile segment.