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Things to consider before the upgrade
Windows 8 is coming and there is a lot of buzz about it already. Many of you have already used Windows 8 while it was in its Release preview. A lot have changed in this version of Windows, it’s a whole new operating system designed to meet the needs of the future. If you are planning to upgrade your environment to Windows 8, this blog series will help you with doing that. This first post will talk about the various upgrade options and things you should consider when performing an upgrade and also the common. The next ones will discuss walkthroughs, known issues, dual boot and rollback options.
What hardware do you need?
Nothing new - Windows 8 will install on almost any hardware that supports Windows 7. All you need is a 1 GHz or higher – 32-bit or 64-bit processor with 1 GB of memory, a hard disk with at least 20 gigs of free space, and a video card that is DirectX 9.x capable. Certain features in Windows 8 need additional support from the hardware:
We announced in the Windows Team blogs earlier about the different SKUs that Windows 8 will be available in. For those of you who missed it, here is a summary -
Upgrade types and considerations:
The Windows 8 Setup has been revamped to improve the workflow and be more user-friendly. Depending on what operating system you are starting the installation from, and depending on what SKU you are installing, the UI shown to you will change. You will see one of the following when you launch the setup from within a down level operating system client:
Here is what each of these options mean:
You can performing an in-place-upgrade to Windows 8 and keep your Windows settings, personal files, and applications from Starter, Home Basic, and Home Premium editions of Windows 7.
You can perform an in-place-upgrade to Windows 8 Pro from Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate editions.
You can in-place-upgrade to Windows 8 Enterprise from Professional and Enterprise Editions of Windows 7.
Some old rules still apply - You cannot upgrade a 32-bit version of windows to a 64-bit version. Upgrade from the release preview version or pre-RTM builds of Windows to the RTM build is not supported. You cannot upgrade or "Keep Windows Settings personal files and Applications" when running setup from Windows Vista or XP. You can migrate your User data folders or perform a clean installation.
The following table lists what options would be available in the Setup page when you are on a down level OS. For more details on the upgrade paths, visit this TechNet article.
Upgrade Options to Windows 8
Keep Windows Settings, Personal files and applications
Keep Windows Settings and Personal Files
Keep Personal files only
Windows XP (SP3 or higher)
Windows Vista RTM
Windows Vista (SP1 or higher)
Windows 7 (RTM or higher)
Cross-architecture install (32bit to 64bit)
Cross language Windows Vista (SP1 or higher)
Cross Edition type (i.e. K to N) Windows Vista (SP1 or higher)
Hope this post was informative. There is more coming under this series soon, to introduce you to all things new in Windows 8. If you want to have a sneak peak at the user interface, you may also want to check this post on our AskPerf blog. We hope you love running Windows 8 as much as we do bringing it out for you!
Vimal Shekar, Beta Support Engineer, Windows Core team @ Microsoft
Nice blog, Win 8 looks really cool. But how do I know if everything on my win 7 machine will work well on Windows 8 as well?
Thanks for posting. You can use the Upgrade assistant to check for compatibility issues - Download this here
The tool generates an html report which is pretty detailed.
If you have the 3rd screen shown (only "Install Now"), does it over-write everything or give you the option later of selecting whether you want to do an in-place upgrade or install fresh? After first selecting Install Now, it didn't offer any options and I chickened out! :)