Recently, details of Microsoft's upgrade plans for Windows 8 were leaked, and we've got the facts.
Microsoft has begun to share with select partners some specific details about what users can expect when upgrading to Windows 8 from Windows XP, Vista, or 7. Reportedly, the following points were released privately this month by Microsoft:
- Users upgrading to Windows 8 from Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic or Home Premium will be able to maintain their existing Windows settings, files and applications.
- Users upgrading to Windows 8 Pro from any Windows 7 edition will be able to maintain all existing settings, files, and applications.
- Users upgrading to Windows 8 Enterprise (which will only be available to volume licensees with Software Assurance contracts) from Windows 7 Professional or Enterprise will be able to maintain all settings, files and applications.
- If upgrading from Windows Vista, only personal files will be maintained, unless SP1 is installed, in which case system settings will also be maintained.
- Users can upgrade from Windows XP with SP3 installed, but only personal files will be maintained.
All other installations of Windows 8 will require a full format, leaving none of the data intact. This includes cross-language installations and cross-architecture installations (i.e., moving from a 32-bit edition to a 64-bit edition).
Earlier this month, Microsoft launched its latest Windows Upgrade Offer, which will allow users who purchase a Windows 7 PC between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013 to purchase a copy of Windows 8 Pro for just $14.99 when it becomes available. Analysts expect that Windows 8 will be shipped to manufacturers in July, with general availability coming sometime this fall.