Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) wants to make sure money doesn't keep its loyal users from upgrading to Windows 8 later this year. In a surprising move, the software giant announced that PC owners running XP, Vista, or Windows 7 will pay just $39.99 to download the upgrade Windows 8 Pro when it's released later this year.

Upgrades have historically set Windows watchers far more than that, but Microsoft knows it can't afford to ask for too much when free mobile operating systems and other platforms are growing in popularity.

As Microsoft's first PC operating system designed with tablets and other touchscreen controls in mind, the last thing Mr. Softy wants is to stage a revolution that is lightly attended.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney issued a bullish note on Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), setting aside the company's deficit-riddled overseas streaming business to point out that the stock was fetching just 12 times the company's very profitable domestic business earlier in the week.
  • BMW is giving auto sharing a luxurious spin by introducing its DriveNow service in San Francisco. That''s one of the key markets for Zipcar (Nasdaq: ZIP), though BMW's fleet costs more than twice as much to rent by the hour as Zipcar's vehicles.
  • Hoping to make up for lost time, Sony (NYSE: SNE) is buying a cloud-based gaming company. It may as well get moving in that direction before its PlayStation becomes Play Stationary.

Moving on
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The Motley Fool owns shares of Zipcar, Citigroup, Netflix, and Microsoft and has sold shares of Sony short. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of BMW, Zipcar, Microsoft, and Netflix. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He owns shares of Netflix and Zipcar and is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.