Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Not Upgrading, but Migrating to Windows 8

I was asked a little while ago about the potential for migrating from Windows XP to Windows 8. My initial response was that there was no direct upgrade path from Windows XP to Windows 7 and so, I don't think that Microsoft will provide a direct upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 8 would be supported.

But, I wasn't answering the question properly

Microsoft did not support upgrades from Windows XP to Windows 7, but they did support Migrations. 

To explain, the difference, we need to understand Microsoft's terminology. In Microsoft's view of the world, when you upgrade 
"your files and applications are maintained on the computer and do not need to be reinstalled" 
Where Microsoft's definition of Migrate is;
"Migrate means that you save files and settings in a safe location, such as on a USB drive or a network share, prior to installing Windows 7 on your computer. When the installation is complete, you can move the files and settings from the safe location to the computer running Windows 7."
It is vital it differentiate between the two options (migrate and upgrade) as the Microsoft TechNet Windows 7 Migration guide explicitly states'
"The Upgrade option is available in Windows 7 Setup for some computers running Windows Vista®, but it is not available for Windows XP."
Therefore, migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7 was supported, but upgrading was not. As correctly noted in a few blog posts, Windows 7 folders and configuration settings are significantly different from Windows XP. And, from what we have seen so far, Windows 8 leverages those settings and basic directories (shell folders in Microsoft parlance).

So, to answer the question, will I be able to upgrade my Windows XP to Windows 8 is: No.

And, will I be able to migration to Windows 8 from Windows XP? Yes! 

But, you will have to;
  1. Transfer you data and settings to a secondary storage (probably a USB drive)
  2. Format the machine
  3. Install Windows 8, 
  4. Re-install your applications (or install the upgrades)
  5. Re-apply your settings.  

You can find out more about's Microsoft current upgrade availability here: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=169367

Also, If you are interested in the New Windows 8 logo, you can grab a copy here;

Note: the colour scheme is very METRO. And, apparently, the colour scheme changes when you change your background colour… Neat.


Windows 7 Upgrade and Migration Guide

Step-by-Step: Basic Windows Migration using USMT for IT Professionals

Must Microsoft Offer a Direct Upgrade Path from XP to Windows 8?

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