Microsoft only selling upgrade versions of Windows 8 in Australia

Windows 8 boxart
Microsoft not selling full retail copies of Windows 8 in Australia

Customers wanting to install Windows 8 on a custom built machine in Australia are all out of luck, with Microsoft today confirming it will only offer a version for customers to upgrade from previous versions of Windows.

Available as a $AU39.99 download or $AU69.99 for a boxed copy, Windows 8 Pro is a remarkably cheaper option than previous versions of the operating system.

The catch is that it's only available as an upgrade path for previous windows users.

At the Australian launch of the new operating system today, Microsoft Australia MD Pip Marlow confirmed that the company would only be offering the upgrade version of the operating system to Australian customers.

Not all bad news

Despite the fact Microsoft Australia has decided to refrain from selling the full version of Windows 8 locally, there is still hope for custom PC builders online.

Various online and specialist PC retailers are listing OEM versions of Windows 8 for sale in Australia for as little as $99 for the standard version of the operating system and $149 for Pro version.

According to PC World, Microsoft has even gone so far as to loosen its licensing arrangements for its OEM builds, allowing anyone building their own machine to purchase the software, not just larger Original Equipment Manufacturers.

While the vast majority of new Windows 8 users will come to the operating system through a new computer, it seems odd that Microsoft wouldn't cater to the enthusiast market with a full retail version.

Or at the very least, have a much clearer explanation of its relaxed OEM offering.

Having spent the past decade editing some of Australia's leading technology publications, Nick's passion for the latest gadgetry is matched only by his love of watching Australia beat England in the rugby.