The Tech News Blog

January 20, 2014

Verizon Drops ‘Edge’ Early-Upgrade Program from Six Months to One

Top 10 Smartphones (update)

Let the carrier wars continue. No doubt spurned a wee bit by T-Mobile's "we'll pay you to drop your carrier" promotion, Verizon has officially announced that it's dropping its Edge early-upgrade plan from a six-month wait to a 30-day wait.

In other words, if you are a complete gadget junkie and cannot possibly stand the thought that one of your friends has the latest smartphone, you'll now be better equipped to match their purchases so long as you don't mind paying a wee bit to do so.

According to a Verizon spokesperson, the shortened time frame for upgrades is allegedly just a "promotion" so far, but it's unclear just how long said bonus will last. Additionally, Verizon is also tossing in a $100 gift card for those who sign up for said Edge plan – so long as said person also trades in a working smartphone and buys a brand-new 4G LTE smartphone from Verizon.

For those who haven't been paying attention to the industry's new obsession with early upgrade plans, here's how Edge works: It's a basic, 24-month installment plan for one's phone. You pay the "Edge fee," for lack of a better phrase, on top of what you're already paying for your monthly service plan. Once you hit the halfway point of the total cost of your smartphone (Edge fees only!), you're eligible for another phone upgrade sans any bonus fees for doing so. You used to have to wait six months to be eligible for said upgrade but, as we mentioned, Verizon's wait time has now been shortened to a mere 30 days.

January 13, 2014

Sprint Dumps ‘One Up’ Early Upgrade Plan

Sprint Logo

Sprint in September followed the lead of T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon, announcing One Up, an early upgrade plan that lets customers trade in their phone every 12 months rather than two years. But just four months later, Sprint has quietly announced it is killing off the plan.

"Heads up! Sprint One Up was retired on Jan. 9, 2014," Sprint wrote in a note on its website. The company is now pushing customers to its new "framily" plan.

The now-defunct One Up plan let customers get a new device with no down payment and pay it off in monthly installments over the course of 24 months. After 12 consecutive payments, customers could then hand in their current device for a new one. As part of the plan, customers were entitled to a $15 per month service discount.

Those who purchased their device under the One Up program before Jan. 9 will still receive a $15 monthly service discount off Unlimited, My Way, and My All-in plans, Sprint said. The discount will be suspended after your next upgrade or if you change plans.

Meanwhile, Sprint's new Framily plan, unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show last week, extends the concept of family plans to non-relatives. Customers can add up to 10 phone lines to one account to save money, with each person getting a separate bill. With the Framily plan, you can still upgrade early, but you'll first need to pay for unlimited data.

April 12, 2013

Verizon Pushes Upgrade Eligibility to 24 Months

Verizon Logo

Verizon customers itching for a phone upgrade before their contract expires are now out of luck.

The mobile carrier today announced that it has changed its upgrade practices, and bumped upgrade eligibility from 20 months to a full two years.

"This change aligns the upgrade date with the contract end date and is consistent with how the majority of customers purchase new phones today," Verizon said in a statement. "As the wireless business has evolved, Verizon Wireless has continued to expand its device portfolio, providing customers with more options than ever before."

The first customers impacted by the change are those whose contracts expire in Jan. 2014.

"As always, customers may purchase a new phone at the full retail price at any time," Verizon added.

The company still allows users on the same account to share upgrades, but Verizon has now limited them to phones; upgrade transfers for devices like a Jetpack MiFi device or tablet will no longer be available.

August 21, 2012

Microsoft Opens Windows 8 Upgrade Registration

Hands On With Windows 8 RTM

Microsoft today started accepting registrations for Windows 8 upgrades. Those who purchased a PC anytime after June 2 can now sign up to receive the Windows 8 upgrade for $14.99 when the OS is released on Oct. 26.

Back in May, Microsoft announced that anyone who purchased a Windows 7 PC between June 12, 2012 and Jan. 31, 2013 could upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $14.99. Registration for that offer is now live via for PC users in 140 countries.

After selecting your country, Microsoft will ask you to register your personal details and information about your new PC, including date of purchase, retailer, and PC brand and model. You'll also need your 25-digit Windows 7 product key.

On Oct. 26, Microsoft will start sending out promo codes via email. When you upgrade via, Microsoft will display the $39.99 price for general upgrades; enter the promo code on the confirmation page to get the $14.99 price.

Users have until Feb. 28, 2013 to use their promo code.

July 3, 2012

Microsoft Offering $39.99 Windows 8 Pro Upgrades

Windows 8 upgrades

Users with PCs running Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7 will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $39.99, Microsoft announced today.

Users in 131 markets will be able to purchase the upgrade package at when Redmond releases Windows 8, which is expected this fall. A packaged, DVD version of Windows 8 Pro will be available for $69.99. The online and in-store offer will run until Jan. 31. 2013.

Users who bought a Windows 7 PC after June 2 will be eligible for a $14.99 Windows 8 upgrade, also through January.

"We set out to make it as easy as possible for everyone to upgrade to Windows 8," Microsoft spokesman Brandon LeBlanc wrote in a blog post.

Back in November, Microsoft promised faster, 11-click Windows 8 upgrades. Microsoft said today it will walk users through the upgrade process, which will first check to make sure your computer can handle Windows 8. That check will also alert you to any device or app incompatibility.

For those who want a little something extra, users on the consumer edition of Windows 7 can upgrade to Pro and bring along all files, settings, and apps. Those upgrading from Vista can bring along settings and personal files, but those on XP can only bring files.

May 14, 2012

Report: Microsoft Offering $14.99 Upgrade to Windows 8

Hands on with Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Microsoft reportedly will charge $14.99 for an upgrade to Windows 8 for those who buy a PC with Windows 7 on it after June 2, according to a report.

According to Windows Supersite, the $14.99 upgrade offer will be timed at about the release date of the Release Preview of Windows 8, due at about the same time in early June. However, Microsoft will also reportedly offer just a single upgrade for all Windows 7 versions, up to Windows 8 Pro, Windows Supersite reported.

In April, Microsoft revealed that it would ship four versions of Windows 8: Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro, a version for bulk purchasers, and Windows 8 on ARM, the flavor of Windows 8 that will appear on tablets and may face Congressional investigation.

Not surprisingly, Microsoft will also retain its practice of offering upgrades from Windows 8 Basic to Windows 8 Pro, Windows SuperSite added. In Windows 7, for example, the Upgrade Anywhere option allows users to unlock Windows 7 Premium content and functionality that coded onto the disc itself.

November 22, 2011

Microsoft Promises Faster, 11-Click Windows 8 Upgrades

Windows 8 upgrades

Microsoft this week promised an easier—and Web-based—experience for those who will be upgrading existing devices to Windows 8 after its release.

Users will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 in as little as 11 clicks, the software giant said.

"For Windows 8, our goal was to continue to improve reliability while also improving the installation experience and raw performance," Christa St. Pierre with the Windows setup and deployment team wrote in a blog post. "Not only did we want it to be rock solid, but also faster and easier to use."

Though many people will opt to purchase a new PC with Windows 8 pre-installed, others will upgrade existing PCs to the revamped operating system. St. Pierre said Microsoft made a commitment with Windows 7 to make sure the OS works on a variety of PCs and "we've continued that commitment with Windows 8," she said.

There are about 450 million Windows 7 PCs that will be able to run Windows 8, but "we expect that many systems running Windows Vista and even Windows XP will also be eligible," St. Pierre wrote.

Upgrading, however, is not just a matter of slapping on a new OS and calling it a day. Peripherals or software that worked on Windows Vista or 7 might not be compatible with Windows 8.

April 2, 2011

Microsoft Offers Students Windows 7 Upgrade for $29.99

By Mark Hachman

For a limited time, college students can upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7 Professional for just $29.99, Microsoft said Friday.

Students need to be currently enrolled at a university, with a current student ID and a valid email address. If they meet those criteria, then students simply need to visit this Microsoft site and register, where they will purchase a digital license key. The software will be delivered electronically via Digital River, Microsoft said, with an option for backup media.

Normally, students pay $64.95 to upgrade, Microsoft said. Microsoft did not specify whether the software was designed for 32-bit or 64-bit systems.

Students can also purchase Microsoft Office Professional Academic for $79.95, and the Microsoft Office Language Pack for $9.95, Microsoft said.