Windows 8 pre-orders open

Windows 8 pre-orders open
Windows 8 - hot off the press

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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Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.