According to ZDNET, Microsoft’s select partners have been offered access to its Windows 8 upgrade plans. With rumors circling that the RTM (Release to Manufacturing) version will be ready this month, the upgrade plans will help prepare consumers to upgrade to Windows 8 from PCs running previous versions of Windows such as Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7. Before you get all excited about the upgrade plans, XP and Vista users may have to contend with some unpleasantness! Here’s what insiders are saying about the Windows 8 upgrade plans.
Windows 8 Upgrade Plans
Here’s how the upgrade will work.
Windows XP Users
If you are running Windows XP with SP3, you can upgrade to Windows 8. Restrictions: You will be able to retain only your personal files.
Windows Vista Users
Running Windows Vista without SP1 : You can only upgrade to Windows 8. Only personal data will be retained.
Running Windows Vista with SP1 : You can only upgrade to Windows 8. Both personal data and system settings will be retained.
Windows 7 Users
Running Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Windows Professional and Windows Ultimate: You can upgrade to Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro. System settings, personal data, and applications will be retained.
Running Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise: You can upgrade to Windows 8 Enterprise. This is available to volume licensees with Software Assurance contracts only. System settings, personal data, and applications will be retained.
Cross Language Installation
Users who want to do a cross language installation using Windows 8 Setup will not be able to retain their system settings, and applications although personal data will remain unaffected.
Users running 32bit Windows OS can upgrade only to to 32 bit Windows 8. Similarly, users running 64 bit Windows OS can upgrade to 64 bit Windows 8 only. Cross-architecture installation is not permitted.
The final version of the OS is expected to be released in October 2012, so there’s enough time for users to mull over the upgrade plans until then. That said, Windows 8 seems to have been built for a touch screen device and feels pretty awkward on a regular PC that is not touch enabled. I would rather get a touch device with Windows 8 than do an upgrade. What do you think folks? Would it be a good idea to upgrade to Windows 8 from your current OS? Let us know in the comments section.