Update:  According to Ed Bott and Jason Combes who commented below, the downloadable upgrade can be burned to a bootable DVD or stored on a USB drive for future use.  Brandon LeBlanc also commented over at the Windows Team Blog that you will also have the option to purchase a backup DVD for $15.

News is breaking this morning that the Windows 8 OS, which will be come publicly available to everyone on 26 October, is now available for pre-orders.

If you are the type that must have a physical DVD with your OS bits on it then a pre-order is right up your alley however, if you do not mind having a download only then a little patience may save you a few bucks.

Beginning 26 October you can head to and use the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant to upgrade your current version of Windows, all the way back to XP Sp3 in fact, to Windows 8 Pro. That electronic download and upgrade will only cost you $40 compared to the $70 for the pre-order package and physical DVD.

That $40 offer only lasts until 31 January 2013 so you definitely want to take advantage of it within that 90 day period.  Based on the pricing at and the pre-order is being offered at about a $130 discount off suggested retail so it is unclear how long that deal will last which makes the $40 offer quite attractive as well.

So what is your plan? Upgrade via one of these deals or wait until later to move to Windows 8?

Windows 8 Pro OS and Windows 8 Hardware Pre-Order News: