New details have emerged regarding Microsoft’s strategy to get its customers to upgrade their operating systems to the long-anticipated Windows 8.

Details of the company’s strategy first surfaced earlier this month, with Microsoft offering a $15 upgrade option that will give any Windows 7 PC buyer the Pro version of Windows 8 (even if they only get Windows 7 Home or Basic versions). And now, we’re hearing a bit more about the perimeters of this deal.

The upgrade deal will be eligible for anyone who purchases a Windows 7 PC from the Microsoft Store after June 2, according to a report from The Verge that cites people with details of the plan. The deal will run through January 31, 2013, which basically helps snare in all the holiday spending associated with Christmas and the gift cards redeemed thereafter.

Also interesting is that Microsoft will be offering a workshop to anyone who takes advantage of the upgrade offer, according to the report. Essentially, this will be similar to what Apple is already offering in its own retail stores, with employees walking customers through the basics of the new OS. Anyone who participate will also get a $20 gift card to the Microsoft retail store — making your upgrade more or less free.

That’s a decent incentive for the “not-computer people” who don’t really care about upgrading their OS the way an average tech geek (or knowledgeable consumer, I should say) would.

It’s nice to see Microsoft stepping up its game on the OS upgrade strategy. In the past, the company’s lack of effort in getting people to switch over resulted in millions of computers still using Windows XP and (groan) Vista.

Photo via Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat


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