It’s frustrating that Microsoft still charges for its operating systems. Yet Windows still comes with a price tag, so you may as well spend as little money as possible. How about $39.99 for the official retail version of Windows 10 Professional? That’s an 80 percent discount off this version’s full MSRP of $199.
This offer, good through November, is for a Microsoft-licensed retail version of Windows 10 Pro, and not an OEM version. If you’re already using Windows 10 Home, you can drop in the product key you purchase for Professional (go to Settings > Activation), and your PC will upgrade accordingly. The code you purchase can also upgrade older versions of Windows, dating all the way back to Windows Vista—just be aware you may face hardware compatibility issues.
PCWorld’s partner, Cleverbridge, is able to secure great discounts by going directly to software vendors and publishers, buying licenses in bulk, and then working with safe, secure brands (like PCWorld) to sell the software directly to consumers. Please note this deal is for an unlimited lifetime license for a single PC.
Of course, not everyone actually needs Windows 10 Professional—we explain all the details in “Who needs Windows 10 Pro: 5 reasons to upgrade.” But you will want to make the leap from the Home to the Pro version if you need the following features:
- BitLocker device encryption: Invaluable if your machine is lost or stolen.
- Client Hyper-V: Creates a secure operating environment within your PC that allows you to run different operating systems, including Linux, future builds of Windows 10, and even older versions of Windows.
- Windows Information Protection: An enterprise feature for protecting against employee data leaks.
- Remote Desktop Connection: Essential for full remote control of your desktop.
And that’s really just the tip of the Windows 10 Pro iceberg. Microsoft has a good Windows feature comparison page here if you’re interested in all the differences between Home and Professional. For now, please check out the $39.99 Windows 10 Professional deal in the PCWorld Software Store. And remember, this offer expires at the end of November.