Upgrading To Windows 8

No, you haven't missed it; Windows 8 is not out yet - but it's coming, and Microsoft has announced the upgrade path available to current Windows users. Now, of course, you would want to have fairly recent hardware to be able to run Windows 8 nicely - and while Windows 8 should be largely compatible with software for Windows 7 and possibly XP, the Upgrade Advisor that is part of the upgrade process should give you a head's up to any potential problems.

The good news is that the upgrade will be relative inexpensive at around $40, and Vista and Windows 7 users may enjoy a pretty painless process.

When a new operating system comes out, users of the previous version have several choices:
1 - stick with what you have for now, and worry about it later
2 - buy a new computer with the new OS
3 - delete the old version, install the new Windows and reinstall everything
4 - upgrade the old Windows version to Windows 8

While number 3 is probably the "best", in terms of everything working smoothly, most "normal" folk don't want to do that kind of stuff. So, number 4 is what we are talking about here.

For Windows XP users that have Service Pack 3 installed, you can run the Windows 8 upgrade - however, only your personal data will be carried over to the new operating system. You will need to reinstall any programs you had on XP. If you don't have SP3 installed (and you really should for security reasons), you would need to install that from Windows Updates first, then you can run the Windows 8 upgrade.

For Windows Vista without Service Pack 1, it's much the same deal - personal data such as documents and photos will be carried over, but applications will need to be reinstalled.

For Windows Vista with Service pack 1, you will get a true upgrade - your user data and programs will be transferred to the new operating system. Now, it's possible some programs will "break" if they are not capable of running properly under Windows 8, but the Upgrade Advisor should warn you before you commit to the upgrade.

For Windows 7, you will also get a true upgrade.

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