Windows 8 Editions and Upgrade Paths Information

The following details information about the editions of Windows 8 (Stock Keeping Units) that will be available for purchase at retail, along with the upgrade paths from previous versions of Windows.

Windows 8 will be available in two retail editions:

  • Windows 8 – targeted at consumers.
  • Windows 8 – targeted at enthusiast, power users and businesses.
  • Windows 8 will be available in 32 and 64 bit architectures

Below is a list of which editions of Windows 7 users will be able to upgrade from to Windows 8

Edition Windows 8 Windows 8 Pro Windows 8 ARM
Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium



Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate  




Migration options available from previous versions of Windows such as Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7

The upgrade options that you might see in the screen above depend on which version of Windows you are upgrading from. Here’s the list of what you can migrate based on your currently installed version of Windows:

You can transfer these… When Upgrading from….    

Windows 7

Windows Vista

Windows XP



Windows Settings




User accounts and Files





Clean install is supported across all versions.

Upgrade options when installing Windows 8:

Depending on the options you chose during setup, you might have to reinstall your applications.
What are my options for what I want to keep?

What you can keep depends on the current version of Windows running on your PC. These options only show up if the current version of Windows supports them.

Here are the options you might see:

  • Windows settings. Windows settings like Ease of Access, your desktop background, or Internet favorites and history will be kept. Not all settings will be moved.
  • Personal files. Anything saved in the User folder is considered a personal file, like the Documents and Desktop folders.
  • Apps. Some apps are compatible with Windows 8  and will just work after Windows 8 Consumer Preview is installed. Some apps might have to be reinstalled after Windows 8 finishes installing, so be sure to find the installation discs and installers for apps you want to keep.
  • Nothing. Delete everything and replace your current version with a copy of Windows 8. Your personal files will be moved to a windows.old folder.

If you choose Nothing, make sure to do the following before you continue:

  • Back up your files to an external hard disk, DVD or CD, USB flash drive, or network folder.
  • Find the installation discs and installers for the apps you know will work in Windows 8 Consumer Preview and need to reinstall.
  • If you use a fingerprint reader or other biometric device to sign in to your computer, make sure you write down your password. You’ll have to sign in by typing your user name and password the first time you use Windows 8

Windows RT – ARM Support

Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro do not support existing ARM based devices on the market such as Android Tablets like the Samsung Tab, Acer Iconia Tab or the Blackberry Playbook. You need a computer with a x86 x64 processor.

Computers with ARM processors will come with a version of Windows called Windows RT, but you cannot install it on existing devices that utilize ARM processors.

Whether you have a logo PC or you’ve built your own PC, the recommendations for the Consumer Preview include:

1 GHz or faster processor
1 GB RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

One new element to Windows 8 is the requirement that Metro style applications have a minimum of 1024×768 screen resolution, and 1366×768 for the snap feature. If you attempt to launch a Metro style app with less than this resolution (e.g. 800×600, 1024×600) you will receive an error message.


1 Comment

Filed under 8 Journal, Windows 8

One response to “Windows 8 Editions and Upgrade Paths Information

  1. Pingback: 20 Plus Tips to Get Started with Windows 8 | Teching It Easy: with Windows

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s