On their Windows 8 development blog, Microsoft have outlined the new and improved process for upgrading and installing Windows 8 on a PC.
It’s an interesting post written by Christa St. Pierre.
I found a few things interesting about the post.
Most customers who buy a Windows upgrade from a retailer just want it to be fast and easy, but a few also want to be able to do some more complex things, such as setting up in a multi-boot configuration. And of course, we also have the IT Pro customers, who need to take full control over configurations, install from network as well as media, and add customizations to the setup image. The advanced user’s needs are a lot like those of the IT Pro, both because they require more fine-tuned control and because it’s hard for us to predict exactly which controls they may want to manipulate. For this reason, we have not created a “super advanced setup” mode, but we encourage people who want to create unattended setup configurations for home or work to use our standalone deployment tools. In Windows 7, we provided a Windows Automated Installation Kit, and in Windows 8 we have enhanced that with additional tools in the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit, which is available for download to MSDN subscribers.
The fact that they are leaving the more compex options off the table was smart. Most users don’t need em.
Their ultimate aim was to “reduce the time from start to finish so that customers can get to Windows and use the full power of Windows to further customize and ultimately enjoy their new Windows experience.”
Also instructive was the table they included showing what you will be able to move from XP, Vista and 7.
Windows 8 Upgrade Paths
As you can see, moving from Windows 7 is probably the most expedient option if at all possible as it will enable you to move as much as possible including apps, settings and user accounts.
They sum up the article like this:
With Windows 8 setup we have greatly improved both speed and ease of use, while still retaining all of the advanced setup functionality that many customers will demand. We have integrated what was once many separate steps for people to perform when preparing and starting their setup into a streamlined user experience, with a fast and reliable setup engine under the hood. Customers who choose to install Windows from an online source will have a greatly improved experience over what we’ve delivered in the past, with smaller and faster downloads, as well as increased resiliency and control. We hope that you will find these improvements to be a great way to start your experience using Windows 8.
It’s a good post. Head over there and take a read.