Users in 131 markets will be able to take advantage of a pricing deal announced by Microsoft to upgrade from Windows XP, Windows Vista or consumer editions of Windows 7, to Windows 8 Pro for US$39.95.

To take advantage of the $40 special, users will need to purchase and download Windows 8 via

The pricing deal will begin with Windows 8’s general release and continue until 31 January 31 2013.

Lovers of physical media will be able to create their own backup DVD or USB stick, purchase a backup DVD for US$15 plus shipping and handling, or a packaged DVD version for US$70.

Various degrees of migration will occur during the upgrade, depending on which past version of Windows the user is upgrading from.

“You will be able to upgrade from any consumer edition of Windows 7 to Windows 8 Pro, and bring everything along, which includes your Windows settings, personal files and apps. If you are upgrading from Windows Vista, you will be able to bring along your Windows settings and personal files, and if you are upgrading from Windows XP, you will only be able to bring along your personal files,” wrote Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft Windows communications manager.

During the promotion, Windows Media Center will be offered for free through the “add features” option within Windows 8 Pro, after upgrading the system. It was previously announced that Media Center would be available as a purchasable add-on.