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(Pocket-lint) - Microsoft has published a blog post today that puts all of us out of our misery. That's right, it's announced pricing for Windows 8, and it's a fairly wallet-friendly $39.99 (£25.50) to upgrade from Windows XP, Vista or 7.

This price isn't without some caveats though. It applies only to upgrades - where you have a pevious version - and only to purchases made online, for downloadable versions of the OS. You can do a fresh install though, so none of that messy in-place upgrading, unless you want to do that. If you want Microsoft to send it on a DVD, add $15 to the price. And if you want a boxed, retail, DVD copy, it will set you back $69.99 (£44.64).

This offer applies only to Windows 8 Pro. This is the highest consumer version of the operating system with lots of the features that were previously to be found only in Windows 7 Ultimate, including remote desktop server and BitLocker drive encryption. There are three other versions that will be one sale, including Windows RT for ARM-based computers, Windows 8 - which is a more basic version, intended for home use - and Windows Enterprise, for business customers.

These upgrade prices apply only until January 2013, so you'll most likely have to suffer all the early bugs of the OS for quite some time until the first service pack gets released. But, if you have a touch-enabled computer then you might be keen to see how the new-look Windows can change your life for the better or, perhaps, worse

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If you're not sure if your computer is up to it, don't worry because the install process will check to make sure you can run Windows 8. There will also be the opportunity to save your existing Windows install, should you be worried about your apps and data.  More than 100 countries will have access to this download service, which the firm claims is better than ever before.

The good news - and this is a question that's been hanging over Windows 8 for some time - is that you will be able to download Windows Media Center, free of charge, should you still have love for the stylish, but mostly ignored, program that allows TV recording and media playback.

Is the price right? Will you be upgrading? 

Writing by Ian Morris.