May 15, 2012 at 3:36 PM ET
A new report from Windows blogger Paul Thurrott says that people who buy a Windows 7 system starting in June may be able to get Windows 8 Pro, a notch above the consumer version, for just $15, when the OS ships in the fall. But whether people who don't want to pay $15 will be able to get a free version of the more basic Windows 8 is unknown.
As we wrote recently, Microsoft is expected to offer a reduced Windows 8 upgrade price for people who buy PCs immediately before launch time, and June 2 is likely to be that starting date.
Windows, due for full release in October, will come in three flavors: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT, the latter mainly for people who will only use Windows on a tablet.
Microsoft Tuesday declined to comment on the pricing or the report by Paul Thurrott of SuperSite for Windows, who wrote:
A coming Microsoft promotion will provide Windows 8 Pro to buyers of Windows 7-based PCs for just $14.99, according to my sources.
But the Windows 8 promotion is different. This time around, Microsoft is only offering two mainstream versions of the product to consumers: Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. And instead of offering a free upgrade to the version of Windows 8 that most closely matches the version of Windows 7 a user buys with a new PC, Microsoft will this time offering only the higher-end Windows 8 Pro.
"Unfortunately, we have nothing further to share," a spokesman for Microsoft told msnbc.com.
The offer is likely to coincide, at least somewhat, with the unveiling of the "release preview," one of the final beta versions of Windows 8 before it is fully baked and ready for shipment. Microsoft generally offers the betas for free to registered users, though these versions expire when the final software is released.
(Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)