Reports claim that Microsoft has told it’s partners that full upgrades to Windows 8 will only be possible with Windows 7 machines. ZDNet cited unnamed sources who said that Microsoft has shared this news with selected partners.
Microsoft did announce a few upgrade paths for the Windows 8 Consumer preview when they released that back in February, and they are still pretty much the same.
While Microsoft has apparently revealed this information to their partners, they’ve been somewhat secretive when it comes to sharing it with the general consumer. When Window 7 was being released, Microsoft had already announced the different upgrade paths by this time, but they had also announced an actual release date as well, along with discounted pre-order offers.
So here’s what we can expect:
- Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic and Home Premium PCs will be able for a full upgrade to Windows 8. That means that all applications, data, user accounts and Windows settings will be kept.
- Users will also be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro from Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate, whilst keeping all applications, data, user accounts and Windows settings.
- For those looking to upgrade to Windows 8 Enterprise, only Windows 7 Professional and Enterprise versions will be able to make the move and retain applications, data, user accounts and Windows settings.
- Windows Vista users however won’t be quite as lucky. If you don’t have SP1 installed you will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 but only your personal files/data will be saved. If you have SP1 installed your system settings along with your data will be carried across in the move.
- Windows XP users will only be able to upgrade to Windows 8 and keep their personal files/data if they have Service Pack 3 or higher installed.
- Users won’t be able to upgrade to Windows 8 and keep their Windows settings, files or applications if they are doing a cross-language installation. However there is an additional option that allows you to keep your data if you do the install using Windows 8 Setup
- For those of you looking to change architecture ie. 32 bit to 64 bit, you won’t be able to do this. You’ll have to completely wipe your hard drive and install Windows 8 from scratch.
These upgrade paths are very similar to the ones that were available with Windows 7. However Microsoft did make a greater effort to make the upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 as painless as possible since Windows XP had a very large proportion of the market at the time.