By Jonathan Charles | Sep 21, 2012 10:16 AM EDT
Reports suggest that Microsoft's System Builder version of Windows 8 is to be available at retail during launch, while the full non-upgrade version of Windows 8 will not be offered at retail. This version is not upgradable, but the digital upgrade versions Microsoft began offering earlier in the year are an option for existing Windows users.
System Builder is designed for installation on machines sold already completed, rather than for consumer purchase and installation. Licenses for System Builder differ from the regular version of Windows. Users of the full version of Windows software are usually allowed to use the same copy of the software when upgrading a computer or using it in Bootcamp on a Mac. However, each copy of System Build may only be installed on a single machine, so if a user replaces a motherboard, for instance, a new copy of the software will be needed.
System Builder will sell for close to $100, PCWorld reported. A spokesperson said to PCWorld that Microsoft has "nothing more to share" regarding pricing.
The System Builder version has traditionally sold for much less than the full version, so by offering a less expensive, non-transferable version of its operating system software, Microsoft may be trying to combat software piracy. Illegally downloaded versions of Windows continue to be popular. Whether the effort will be successful remains to be seen.
Microsoft is also launching Windows RT for Windows 8. It seems to be focused on the mobile market, and legacy apps, programs from previous versions of Windows, are not supported. However, the desktop side of Windows 8 is functional alongside Modern UI.
Windows 8 launches Oct. 26. Microsoft is holding an event Oct. 25 to "celebrate" the launch of the operating system. It is rumored that the company's Surface tablets will launch at midnight, becoming the first devices for Windows 8.
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