By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
Microsoft is has a date to start selling Windows 8, the tablet centric version of their OS, which will offer users touch senstitive controls and a new Metro interface. The date Windows 8 will officially be available is October 26, 2012 and upgrades will sell starting at $39.99.
October 26th, 2012! That’s right! Just a few minutes ago, Steven Sinofsky announced at Microsoft’s annual sales meeting that customers will be able to get Windows 8 – whether in upgrade fashion or on a new PC – starting on October 26th. But now everyone has a specific date to mark on their calendars. It’s on mine! – Windows Blog
While Windows 8 will be available at brick and mortars and such ecommerce sites as Amazon.com, Microsoft will also be following Apple’s lead and offering the upgrade as a download. If your PC is running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7, there is an upgrade path that will qualify you to download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just $39.99. If you prefer to shop at a local store or via options like Amazon , a packaged DVD version of the upgrade to Windows 8 Pro will be available for $69.99 until January 31st, 2013.
Once downloaded from Windows.com, the Windows upgrade assistant will verify your compatibility and then proceed to backing up data and installing the new OS. If it has an issue with your current computer’s configuration, the upgrade assistant will provide a detailed compatibility report that lets you know of anything you may have to address before or after the upgrade and outlines actions to take. This will also include app and device compatibility issues which may come up (i.e., programs which will have to be run in compatibility mode until drivers are updated by software manufacturers).
And while users can upgrade to Windows 8 from XP, Vista and Windows 7, what users can bring to the new OS is a mixed bag. For Windows 7, users can transfer Windows settings, personal files, and any programs they have installed. If the upgrade path winds through Windows Vista, users can ring along your Windows settings and personal files, but programs will need to be updated and reinstalled. Lastly, XP users get the short shrift, only being able to bring in their data and personal files on upgrading. But since XP is rapidly approaching it’s end of life date, users really have little choice.
And at the beginning of the install (after Windows 8 is downloaded), the installation procedure will give users the option to either directly install the OS upgrade, or to burn the OS as an ISO file to either DVD or USB Thumbdrive and then installing it.
Will Windows 7 users like it? The jury is still out on that. Windows 7 is probably the best version of Windows ever made. Microsoft is taking a huge gamble with the tablet centric interface. It’s kinda frustrating to figure out and doesn’t always run smoothly. But after testing it for 6 months, I have to say, I’m pretty used it. And it boots up really quickly. I’m betting that personal users will get used to it. But like Vista before it, business users will take a wait and see attitude.