Once upon a time, Windows installations could take well over an hour or more and either were performed by PC techs or those who were fairly savvy with computers.
Back in these days upgrading meant loss of files (although back up was possible) and having to start from scratch.
With every version of Windows, Microsoft has went a step further in making installation an easy process that just about anyone with any level of PC experience can perform.
I talked a little about the recent blog post from Microsoft and how the new setup system works in the last article I wrote, although I primarily focused on how the Window.old file works and the deletion timer associated with it.
This time around I’m going to focus on how the new setup system makes upgrading faster and easier to use.
A big part of this new focus, according to Microsoft, will be its shift to focusing on a digital delivery model this time around.
Microsoft will now offer Windows 8 as a downloadable purchase that can then be put onto USB or DVD depending on your needs.
This is a similar approach that Apple has taken with its OS downloads of late, and with everything moving to the cloud it makes a lot of sense.
Of course if online isn’t your thing, there are still physical versions of Windows 8 DVDs coming to the stores as well. Whether there is a price difference in these versions (physical or online), we aren’t sure yet.
Microsoft also offers a scanning program that will check to see if your PC is compatible with Windows 8 and will give you a report that will show any upgrade problems that you might encounter and how you can fix them.
The report will also let you know about certain peripheral devices and were or not they will be supported, and can give you overall detailed or simplified information. The scan also determines the language version and whether you should get the 32 or 64-bit version of Windows 8.
Windows 8 can even start downloading and preparing for the setup process online and then take it to the Windows desktop and go from there. Windows 8 starts downloading to your PC to complete the installation process and once it’s finished you can keep all your account settings, files, apps, and everything else from Windows 7.
Windows Vista users will not keep their apps but can keep settings and account files. For those going from XP you will only retain user accounts.
The overall process of Windows 8, whether online or offline, is substantially easier than Windows 7. In Windows 7 there were four different installation wizards, including the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor and Easy Transfer system, and up to 60 clicks were involved in the entire process.
Windows 8 will only require 11 clicks, which shows they have put a ton of work into making the installation process easier.
Although speeding up the process is great, probably one of this biggest changes to the easy-install Windows 8’s process is that you no longer need a CD key.
That’s right, your installation will embed the 25-digit product key into the disk image you downloaded and install it in the setup process. Keep in mind this is ONLY for the online based install.
Overall Windows 8 is shaping up to be a very interesting and different version of Windows, and the new install process is just another way they are making it even better.
What do you think of the new online install process? Do you intend to get your version online or stick to the old-fashioned physical DVD method? Share your thoughts below.