Windows 8 pre-orders open

And Windows 8 Pro upgrades available

Microsoft has opened with Windows 8 floodgates, announcing that you can pre-order PCs and other devices running the new OS from today.

Asus, Acer, Dell, HP, Samsung and Sony all have hardware up for pre-order, with Dell first out of the blocks with pricing information.

You can get your order in for the twisty-turny Dell XPS 12 Windows 8 laptop-tablet hybrid, which will set you back from £999 (US$1200); we got our mitts on one at IFA 2012 and deemed it to be good.

Also available from Dell are the XPS One 27 with all-in-one touchscreen desktop PC starting at £1,779 (US$1,599) and the Inspiron One 23 all-in-one which kicks pricing off at £879 (US$779.99).

You'll also be able to pre-order a number of existing Dell computers with Windows 8 as an option, including the current XPS, Inspiron, Latitude, Optiplex and Precision line-ups.

Software only

If you're just in the market for Windows 8 software, you can also reserve your boxed copy of the upgrade to Windows 8 Pro from certain retailers today. This starts at $69.99 and you get one of five thrilling new illustrations, because that's obviously why you're buying.

If you hang on until the official Windows 8 release date of October 26, you'll be able to grab a digital-only upgrade for $39.99 USD (around £25 or AU$40), as long as you get in there before January 31 2013.

Of course, if you bought a Windows 7 PC between June 2 2012 and January 2013, you'll be able to nab a cheaper upgrade deal, just $14.99 USD (£15 or around AU$14.50 - bargain).

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