Last week, Microsoft and its retail partners revealed a few more details about Windows 8 pricing, clarifying what the Redmond, Wash., developer has purposefully left muddy in the months leading up to its release next week.
Windows 8 may come in fewer flavors than its predecessors, but pricing seems as confusing as ever, in large part because of Microsoft's secrecy -- this cycle it's dribbled out information so slowly it's driven some analysts half-crazy -- with a dash also due to a record-setting discount for upgraders through the end of January.
We've tried to answer the most-pressing questions, filled in the blanks as best we could, and thrown up our hands when we had no more of a clue than you.
If Microsoft answers the open questions -- it again declined to do so last Friday -- we'll be back with an updated FAQ.
Can I score a free copy of Windows 8?
Yes, you can, but the OS is good for just 90 days.
The free trial of Windows 8 Pro RTM (release to manufacturing) can be downloaded from this Microsoft website
. But when the 90 days are up, you have to replace the trial with a purchased copy or another operating system, and reinstall all applications, other software and files.