Whenever Windows 8 arrives it should be easy to install

November 23, 2011

Whenever Windows 8 arrives it should be easy to installMany people consider the arrival of a new Windows operating system (OS) as time for a new computer.  Others of us brave the process of installing it ourselves.  Well, apparently Microsoft is trying to make that step easier.   Since some predict that Windows 8 will appear next year, its nice to know it will be less of a nightmare to upgrade.

Steven Sinofsky has written about improving the installation for Windows 8 on the blog, Building Windows 8.  One of the primary concerns was reducing the number of screens that users had to view in order to upgrade their operating systems. 

Previously Microsoft had several different processes that users took to upgrade. 

  1. Download and install Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor
  2. Run Windows Upgrade Advisor
  3. Run Windows Easy Transfer to save files and settings
  4. Run Windows 7 setup and clean install
  5. Run Windows Easy Transfer to restore files and settings

Much of the information that users encountered was redundant leading to a frustrating experience.  So instead of multiple programs to install the OS, Microsoft has “folded them together into one fast and fluid experience”.  Another improvement is the ability for the installation to resume from the place it encountered a problem rather than requiring the user to completely restart the installation process.

Overall, the installation process for Windows 8 has been improved drastically.  Rather than the four different wizards and 60 screens needed to upgrade to Windows 7, it will take using only one process and about 11 clicks to install Windows 8.  That’s 82 percent fewer clicks and a savings of considerable time.

Sinofsky uses  the following graph to illustrate one of the most striking differences between upgrading Windows 7 and Windows 8.  In Windows 7, depending on the number of files and programs you were moving from your old OS to the new, it could take up to 513 minutes or 8 hours and 55 minutes.  In Windows 8 moving the same number of files and programs should take only 52 minutes.  You save a whole work day.


“Windows 7 vs. Windows 8 time to upgrade
Note: Time in this graph represents time to complete the upgrade once the installation is initiated
and does not include time to download or read files from media.”

Of course the new 11 click method will be for people who don’t need a custom install or an IT department.  For users who will require such abilities as dual booting and more customized setup it will require a more involved process but certainly nothing like with previous OS installs.

According to Ars Technica Nokia has already announced that it will have a tablet running Windows 8 in June of next year.  If Nokia expects Windows 8 to be ready by then, Microsoft needs to get a move on.  It hasn’t even reached the beta stage yet.

For those of us who will be buying a new computer this holiday season, knowing that an upgrade to the Windows 8 won’t be nearly as arduous as previous OS upgrades is a relief.  It also increases the chances of upgrading when Windows 8 does finally hit the market. 

In the past many businesses and individuals didn’t want to upgrade because of the complexity and time required.  This time around, it won’t be so bad.  That could mean more people will upgrade when Windows 8 is finally released and more money in Microsoft’s pocket when they do. 

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