Product Added : January 20th, 2013
Category : Software
"This Best Selling Microsoft Windows 8 Pro – Upgrade Tends to SELL OUT VERY FAST! If this is a MUST HAVE product, be sure to Order Now to avoid disappointment!"
If you currently have a personal computer running Windows 7, Windows XP or Windows Vista then you can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro (Professional). With Windows 8 Pro, you can connect and share your files. Windows 8 Pro also adds enhanced features if you need to connect to company networks, access remote files, encrypt sensitive data, and other more advanced tasks.
The new Windows 8 start screen is your personalized home for items you use the most and can be customized according to your user preferences. Windows 8 Live tiles provide real-time updates from your Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail accounts. Along with the new Start screen, the lock screen now includes e-mail, calendar, and clock widgets.
To access your PC, Microsoft has replaced a standard PIN or password with a swipe gesture; unlock your PC by clicking or swiping preset locations you’ve selected on the lock screen. New functions also allow you to search for your favorite software programs, open, close, hide, resize, or run multiple apps simultaneously with the swipe of a finger or a swipe of the mouse.
Windows has also made changes to make your PC more secure by boosting its existing security features and adding "SmartScreen," which acts to prevent suspicious programs or apps from being installed or running on your machine. Finally, Windows 8 also gives you the ability to "refresh" itself to give users a new starting point and a cleaner version of Windows.
You can upgrade to Windows 8 from Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 8 Release Preview, Windows 8 Consumer Preview, or Windows Developer Preview, but you might not be able to keep all of your files, software programs, and settings. The following table shows what you can keep during an upgrade, depending on the current version of Windows you are running. If you choose to boot from removable media, you won’t be able to keep your software programs, Windows settings, or personal files when you upgrade.
Upgrading from: What you can keep: Windows 8 Preview Personal files Windows 8 Developer Preview Nothing, but your old files will be saved in the "windows.old" folder Windows 7 Software programs; Windows settings; personal files Windows Vista Windows settings; personal files Windows XP Personal files
System Requirements 1 GHz processor 2 GB RAM 20 GB available hard disk space 1366 × 768 screen resolution DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM driver
Additional Requirements to Use Certain Features Internet access (fees may apply) For touchscreen, you need a tablet or a monitor that supports multi-touch Microsoft account required for some features Watching DVDs requires separate playback software Windows Media Center license sold separately To access the Windows Store and to download and run apps, you need an active Internet connection and a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768 To snap apps, you need a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768
Can I upgrade from a Windows operating system older than Windows XP?
If you want to upgrade from an earlier Windows operating system than Windows XP (for example, Windows 95 or Windows 2000), you'll need to purchase the Windows 8 System Builder. You won’t be able to keep any files, settings, or software programs when you install the new operating system.
Can I upgrade from a 32-bit version of Windows to a 64-bit version of Windows 8?
If your PC has a 64 bit-capable processor (CPU) but is currently running a 32-bit version of Windows, you can install a 64-bit version of Windows 8. You also won't be able to keep any files, settings, or software programs when you upgrade from a 32-bit to a 64-bit version.
If I upgrade and select "keep nothing," how can I restore my files after the upgrade?
If you're running Windows Developer Preview or Windows 8 Consumer Preview when you upgrade, or if you choose the option to "keep nothing" when you upgrade, your files won't come with you to Windows 8. However, you might still be able to copy your files over after you upgrade. If you don't reformat your hard drive during installation, your files are saved to the Windows.old folder, where you can retrieve them after the upgrade.
If I change my mind, can I uninstall Windows 8 and go back to a previous version of Windows?
Not exactly – To go back to your previous version of Windows, you'll need to format your hard drive and then reinstall the previous version of Windows from the recovery or installation media that came with your PC. Typically, this is on a DVD. If you don’t have recovery media, you might be able to create it from a recovery partition on your PC using software provided by your PC manufacturer. Check the support section of your PC manufacturer’s website for more info. After you install Windows 8, you won’t be able to use the recovery partition on your PC to go back to your previous version of Windows.
How can I tell if my devices (keyboards, mice, webcams) will work with Windows 8?
Windows 8 generally works with the same peripheral devices and apps that work with Windows 7. In some cases, a device or program might require an update. The best way to tell if your devices will work before you upgrade is to run Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant, a free program that scans your current hardware, software programs, and devices for compatibility.
As long as you can read, you’ll notice that this is an upgrade, not a bootable install. In order to install Windows 8 with this upgrade, you must at least have Windows Xp, Vista, or 7. It doesn’t matter if it is 32-bit or 64-bit (unless you want 64-bit and you currently have 32-bit, but I’ll get to that in a moment.)
Upgrading is easy. Just have any of Windows XP-7 preinstalled on your PC, insert the disc, and the install goes from there. This upgrade comes with both a Windows 8 32-bit disc, and a Windows 8 64-bit disc. This DOES matter. If you currently have Windows XP 32-bit installed for example, you can only install the Windows 8 32-bit. But if you have Windows XP 64-bit, you can install either of the two (64-bit allows for better performance and unlocks the ability to install more than 4GB of RAM). It’s easy, and you don’t need to be too technically savvy.
Now I did have an odd thing happen when installing. My mind slipped, and I didn’t check if I had 32-bit or 64-bit before hand. I wanted Windows 8 64-bit installed, but I had Windows XP 32-bit, so I couldn’t. Now, this is an UPGRADE version of Windows 8, and isn’t supposed to be able to install without a pre-existing version of Windows being installed. Apparantly, I got around this somehow. I wanted 64-bit, but had 32-bit, so I installed Windows 8 32-bit. After, I rebooted my PC, placed the Windows 8 64-bit install disc instead, and then booted from the disc, and it let me reformat the partition in my hard drive, and install Windows 8 64-bit from scratch. I don’t know if this was a glitch or a fluke, but from what I know, Windows Upgrade discs aren’t supposed to allow you to install from scratch. If you want to spend a little less on Windows 8, but only have a 32-bit on your current system, then you can try and take your chances on installing the 64-bit version anyway with my method above, but I do not suggest, and cannot guarantee it will work the same way.
Overall however, I’m happy with this product (aside that it took forever to deliver since it apparently ships from Hong Kong.) Windows 7 still has slightly better gaming performance, but Windows 8 certainly does a nice job.
EDIT: After spending a bit more time with the OS, I like it. A lot in fact. Ignore people saying “You can’t do things on 8 that you can do on 7.” That’s an outright lie. What DID change however, is the way you can do these things. Just google it and you’ll be fine. It does take some new knowledge.
Another thing I’ve seen, is that it is completely possible to load Windows 8 without any previous operating system. Just boot from the disc. I did this on another computer I built with this exact upgrade, and it installed no problem. It’s pretty much just Windows 8.
Since this is an *upgrade* version of Windows 8, this review emphasizes the *upgrade* process, which is not the same as a review focused on the overall user experience. So far, I’m neutral on the interface changes. Lets just say I won’t be in a hurry to upgrade all of my existing Windows 7 machines to Windows 8.
Bottom line: This was by far the easiest, most intuitive Windows upgrade I’ve performed. This is compared with many Windows upgrades and fresh installs going back to 98, ME, Vista and 7. It took less than an hour and successfully retained my existing applications and data files.
What’s in the box?
(1) 32-bit installation DVD
(2) 64-bit installation DVD
(3) a product key card
(4) a single page getting started guide
Windows 8 system requirements are essentially the same as Windows 7 (which were generally LESS demanding than Vista and XP requirements). I installed Windows 8 over Windows 7 on a 5-year old Dell XPS 420 with a 32-bit 3 GHZ Intel Core2 Duo processor, 4 GB RAM and an ATI Radeon HD 2600 video processor. Total upgrade time took less than an hour.
The installation process went as follows after inserting the installation DVD:
(1) “Preparing”: took about 3 minutes to check for and download updates online.
(2) Windows 8 offered to either preserve your existing applications data files (and some settings) or do a fresh install. I chose to retain my applications and data. In either case, you’ll want save –and have access to– backup copies of your data files and application media/files BEFORE you go through the upgrade and installation.
(3) The install processes ran on my machine for about 28 minutes, then went through a series of restarts. During this time a “percentage complete” message ran on the monitor.
(4) After a final, farewell appearance of a Windows 7 desktop and another restart, Windows 8 went into a “getting ready” process. At this point it presented options for:
-wireless network connections
-express or custom setup
-some privacy-related settings and registration options with Microsoft (these defaulted to not sharing or not required…which is good!)
(5) It then proceeded to a “finalizing” process. At this point is when the upgrade process really shined: it recognized an existing Linux/Ubuntu 12.04 partition on my hard drive and the existing Windows/Ubuntu dual-boot options. It not only preserved Ubuntu functionality, but offered options for selecting your default OS and delay options for the boot loader display.
After finalizing and restarting, Windows 8 recognized all my existing peripherals. All of my existing data and applications were available with no problem. Boot time is about 45 seconds and shutdown time is about 21 seconds.
Comments on the interface experience:
I understand some of the initial hostility this OS has received. While the familiar desktop metaphor lives on (and once you are there, the differences between this and previous Windows user experiences are minimal), before you get there, you have to learn to live with a separate “Start” page. Out of the box this page heavily populated with many online services that Microsoft would clearly be interested in driving your attention (and your wallet!) to. The good news is these are easily removable.
Your keyboard’s Windows key will become a powerful tool, as it allows rapid switching between the desktop and start screens. If you have a Windows 8 compatible touchpad (like the Logitech T650), then its “gestures” also permit rapid switching.
At this point, I consider myself still learning the new interface. Some features seem less than intuitive (like how to shut down, for example), but look how we’ve grown accustomed to the “Start” button being the place to go to stop working!
As I write this, I’m learning to master both the new interface and use of a touchpad instead of a mouse. While I’m not yet working as intuitively as I was with Windows 7, the learning curve hasn’t been a deal breaker. The start screen seems mostly an invitation to hook users into use of applications tied to a registered Microsoft account, and the cynical (and privacy-minded) part of me doesn’t see great value added in this. It also a place to display your frequently used applications, files, folders and system controls for rapid access.
Bottom line: EASY upgrade process, Ubuntu-friendly and a little learning curve. We’ve certainly had worse new operating systems from Microsoft in the past…
Note: I’ve since performed a second install on a netbook that did not have sufficient video resolution to display Windows 8 tiled apps that run on its Start screen. Otherwise, this upgrade path was similarly problem free, and similarly retained existing applications and data present under Windows 7.