Things You Must Know Before Upgrading to Windows 8

As the date for Windows 8’s release draws near, you’ll be seeing many more commentaries and tutorials about it as we get a first-hand look into the operating system. We’ve already made a number of reviews, had a look into up and coming apps for the OS, and even made a final “pros vs. cons” piece as a prelude to its release. Now, we’re going to discuss what you should know before upgrading.

Note: We’re about to discuss some of the things that Microsoft may or may not make very public about the operating system in order to help you understand what you’re getting into before you take this upgrade into consideration.

1. On A Computer Without an OS, You Can’t Install The Full OS From The Upgrade Copy

If your computer doesn’t have an operating system installed, you might as well throw your copy of Windows 8 in the bin unless you already at least have Windows XP. I think it would be very obvious that you shouldn’t purchase an upgrade to install the entire operating system without at least installing a full version of another. This was possible, though, on previous versions of Windows. It’s Microsoft’s right, after all, to properly allow people to install the upgrade copy as it was meant to be. The copy costs only $39, so I’m wondering what the prices for the OEM versions will look like.

2. You Can Upgrade From The Release Preview

Those of you using the Windows 8 Release Preview would be happy to know that you can actually upgrade from it. This is a given, considering that Microsoft doesn’t want to have to make you install the operating system all over again just because you’re using a preview build. I personally believe that the only noticeable difference between Windows 8’s final build and the release preview is that the release preview will expire in 2013. Of course there will be a couple of finishing touches implemented in the final build, but perhaps the main reason you’d upgrade would be to ensure that your operating system doesn’t turn your computer into a fancy paperweight.

3. There’s No Windows 8 Family Pack


That’s right. Windows 8 isn’t going to have the “Family Pack” license that Windows 7 had. This would mean that you’ll have to purchase separate Windows 8 licenses for each computer. I’m still thinking that this will be a thorn on people’s sides, though, since it’s nice to have package deals especially when you have more than one computer in the house. More than 24 million households in the United States alone have more than one computer. That’s a pretty big demographic to disappoint.

4. You Can Install A Fresh Copy of Windows 8 Via The Upgrade

This is kind of confusing for some, but it’s logical after all. And this is what’s going to confuse a few people: “If I can’t install a clean OS copy on an empty via the Windows 8 upgrade, why can I do it with a computer that already has a version of Windows?” This shouldn’t be so strange, considering that your upgrade copy is meant to upgrade an existing operating system, not install a new one. As we diverge ourselves back to the subject at hand, it’s pretty cool to be able to do a fresh install of Windows 8 by using the upgrade. Think of it: You don’t have to deal with that “Windows.old” folder and move stuff around. You can simply just start fresh with the option of not keeping a single aspect of your previous operating system.

Final Thoughts

For its affordable price, I think that the Windows 8 upgrade will trump most of the inconveniences put forth by the process itself. This is only a personal opinion, though, and there surely are some people turned off by the lack of a family pack, for example. The inability to start a brand new installation of Windows 8 on a computer with no previous Windows installation (while using the upgrade, not the OEM, of course) might also ruffle some feathers. It’s definitely not possible to please the crowd, but this can’t be the worst thing Microsoft has done with Windows 8, if we are to take things at face value. Let’s hear your opinions in the comments section!

Miguel Leiva-Gomez
Miguel Leiva-Gomez

Miguel has been a business growth and technology expert for more than a decade and has written software for even longer. From his little castle in Romania, he presents cold and analytical perspectives to things that affect the tech world.

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