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Preparation for Windows 8

Preparation for Windows 8
As Windows 8 draws near, Matt tells us what we need to do to upgrade

Windows 8 logo

The Windows 8 release date draws near (In stores on 26/10/2012). Despite some of the concerns raised from previews, for many Windows users the new "revolutionary operating system" will bring many benefits to their IT experience. This includes new apps designed with a simple and clean interface, faster startup times, better multi-monitor support, and many more features, including the new File Transfer and Task Manager Interfaces.

How much will the Upgrade cost for current Windows Users?

The cost of Upgrading to Windows 8 has been priced very reasonably compared to previous Windows upgrades, which has made it much more desirable for many users. Any Windows user with a machine running Windows XP or later can upgrade for just £25 (offer exists up to January 2013), and for those who have just recently purchased a Windows 7 machine, the upgrade is just £15.

But before you go ahead and upgrade to the new Windows 8, there are a few decisions that you will need to make...

The first thing you will want to decide after you have considered that you like the sound of upgrading to Windows 8 is whether you want to start your experience with a fresh new PC, or upgrade your existing one. If you were to purchase a new PC, You may want to consider which device type you would like, be it a tablet, a desktop, or laptop. If you really want to get the most out of Windows 8, you may want to look into purchasing a tablet, especially with Windows 8 and its prowess with touch input, a tablet would make sense; and don't forget that you can plug it into a dock connected to a keyboard and a monitor when you're not on the move, just as you can with a laptop.

Windows 8 desktop


Upgrading to Windows 8

Since Windows 8 will run on any PC that can run Windows 7, you will not have to rush to your nearest shop and purchase a new machine to make the move to Windows 8. As mentioned earlier, users of Windows 7, Vista, and even XP can upgrade for just £25 until the end of January 2013.

The Windows 8 installer will check your system, peripherals, and software for compatibility when you start the upgrade, so you don't have to worry about installing it on a machine that can't handle it.

Microsoft posted the following minimum specs for Windows 8, and these will probably remain unchanged for the initial release:

  • Processor: 1 Gigahertz (GHz) or faster
  • RAM: 1 Gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

Additional requirements to use certain features within Windows 8:

  • To use touch, you need a tablet or a monitor that supports multitouch.
  • 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.
  • Internet access (ISP fees might apply!)

The amount of data that you can transfer over with you varies depending on which version of Windows you have currently installed. Microsoft have provided a table of what can be transferred to Windows 8 from each earlier version of the Operating System:


Current operating system

What you can keep

Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Nothing (your files will be saved in the Windows.old folder)

Windows Developer Preview

Nothing (your files will be saved in the Windows.old folder)

Windows 7


Windows settings,

User accounts and files

Windows Vista

Windows settings,

User accounts and files

Windows XP

User accounts and files


Want to know more? The following sites below contain more information on upgrading to Windows 8, an in-depth look at the features of Windows 8 and you can even download the latest preview release of the Operating System to try for free:

Upgrade Offer

Windows 8 Features & Release Preview

Over the next few weeks we'll be looking further at Windows 8, and asking "Should you upgrade?"


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