Welcome to day 1 of our Windows 8 / Windows Server 2012 Launch Series!  We hope you will enjoy reading this series as much as we enjoyed putting the content together.  With that said, our first post is going to talk about the upgrade paths and editions for Windows 8 and Server 2012.

Client editions of Windows 8 will come in four distinct SKUs, each with several variations. The following table lists the client edition matrix and the rough equivalent of the Windows 8 SKU to the Windows 7 counterpart.

SKUs

Windows 7 Equivalent

Variations

Windows 8

Home Premium

Windows 8 N, Windows 8 Single Language, Windows 8 China

Windows 8 Professional

Professional, Ultimate

Windows 8 Professional N, Windows 8 Professional with Media Center

Windows 8 Enterprise

Enterprise

Windows 8 Enterprise N, Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation, Windows 8 Enterprise N Evaluation

Windows RT

N/A

N/A

So, how can you upgrade to Windows 8?

Upgrade to Windows 8

You can upgrade to Windows 8 and keep Windows settings, personal files, and applications from the following Windows operating system editions:

  • Windows 7 Starter
  • Windows 7 Home Basic
  • Windows 7 Home Premium

Upgrade to Windows 8 Pro

You can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro and keep Windows settings, personal files, and applications from the following Windows operating system editions:

  • Windows 7 Starter
  • Windows 7 Home Basic
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows 7 Ultimate

Upgrade to Windows Enterprise (Volume License)

You can upgrade to Windows 8 Enterprise (Volume License) from the following operating system editions:

  • Windows 7 Professional (Volume License)
  • Windows 7 Enterprise (Volume License)

For Information regarding Windows 8 upgrade please see TechNet article Windows 8 Upgrade Paths.

Windows Server 2012 will ship the following Server editions:

  • Standard Edition
  • Datacenter Edition
  • Windows Server 2012 Essentials

So, how can you upgrade to Windows Server 2012?

If you are running:

You can upgrade to these editions:

Windows Server 2008 Standard with SP2 or Windows Server 2008 Enterprise with SP2

Windows Server 2012 Standard, Windows Server 2012 Datacenter

Windows Server 2008 Datacenter with SP2

Windows Server 2012 Datacenter

Windows Web Server 2008

Windows Server 2012 Standard

Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard with SP1 or Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise with SP1

Windows Server 2012 Standard, Windows Server 2012 Datacenter

Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter with SP1

Windows Server 2012 Datacenter

Windows Web Server 2008 R2

Windows Server 2012 Standard

For Information regarding upgrade please see TechNet article Evaluation Versions and Upgrade Options for Windows Server 2012.

With that, this concludes our first Launch Series post. Tomorrow we will be talking about the new Start Screen and User Interface.

-AskPerf blog Team