back to article Microsoft to offer dual upgrade path for Windows 8

Microsoft will change its upgrade procedures when it introduces Windows 8, offering a simple system for home users and a more technical option for IT staff. Redmond said it wants to make the upgrade path easier, since the Windows 7 introduction saw some users complaining that the process was too complicated. To ease the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    me wonders

    I wonder how does secure boot figure into this?

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      It won't

      That secure boot stuff is for tablets and other hybrid devices. I assume Microsoft want to sell Windows branded tablets and see no reason to allow people to root the things.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      To add...

      To add to what Dy Xym said - It won't - if you're upgrading from Win 7 to Win 8 the chances are nigh on 100% that you'll be using a BIOS machine, rather than an UEFI machine.

  2. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge


    The Ubuntu upgrade is about that simple, you click a time or two to verify you want to start upgrading, and it's just like a normal update except it updates like 800 packages instead of a few.

    Kudos to Microsoft for making their upgrade streamlined.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      How does non-repo hosted commercial software factor into that?

  3. Sureo

    Someone please remind me why I need to upgrade Win7 to Win8? Thanks.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Based on what happened with my Vista PC, and assuming the Window 7 is the same. Gradually the Windows 7 OS will get slower and slower for no obvious reason.

      You will carry out heroic levels of defragmentation, clearing out old applications and disk 'clean up', to no avail.

      But the system will still take 10 minutes to boot up, and run at about the speed of an advancing glacier........ One day you will think I can't stand this any longer.

      Oh yes on that day I installed Ubuntu which has run fine ever since ....... I guess the answer is there is absolutely no reason to upgrade Win7 to Win8.

      1. Arctic fox

        RE: "Entropy". Well there's a strange thing.

        I've been running 4 Win 7 rigs at home now since virtually the day the os was launched (two stationary and two laptop pcs.). They get defragged *very* regularly plus the usual spring cleaning. You know what? For the first time *ever* since and including Win95 I have never, repeat, never had do a reinstall because of any real sign of slowing down from *any* of them. They are also the only four machines that I have had responsibility for this last decade and a half or so which have never once even threatened me with a BSOD - something that was not exactly a rare occurrence with all previous Windows systems I've had. Strange that - hmm?

        1. CD001

          @Artic Fox

          Oh - it IS quite possible to get BSODs on Windows 7; I used to get them regularly, probably 1 a day on average... almost always when running games.

          You simply need to run an ATI graphics card and _seriously_ overclock the CPU; BSODs ahoy... though I can't really blame MS for making my system unstable on that front, was a combination of too much overclocking and the questionable quality of the Catalyst drivers.

          Patched up Catalyst and turned the overclock down slightly and everything is fine now; Windows 7 is the best, most stable, OS MS have come up with so far IMO ... but is it worth upgrading from XP for anything other than games (since DirectX 11 isn't available on XP)?

          New PC with Windows 7 great ... worth upgrading from a solid XP install for just running office apps; possibly not.

          1. Arctic fox

            @CD001 RE: "You simply need to ran an ATI graphics card........."

            Well, actually, now you come to mention it I did have one crash with one of our machines - I had mercifully forgotten it. I downloaded and installed (you guessed it) the latest driver update from ATI on the lappie I use as my test-bed for such things. It keeled over during boot-up as a result of that shite. Didn't in practice matter given that I had run back-up first but it was a touch irritating. -:)

    2. James O'Brien


      Because its the newest, latest and greatest OS from M$ to date. For example I have been keeping an eye out for information on the browser and I have found this:

      Not only is it great for games, it is also great for porn, surfing the net, porn, chatting on Farcebook, porn, pirating music movies and games, more porn, viruses, yet more porn and the ability to do this* for you as well

      Oh yeah did I forget to mention porn? With Ballmer in attendance to watch it with you?

      *Yes I know its old but I couldnt resist.....

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Because the Redmond Exec's Porsches don't pay for themselves you know!

    4. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Eye Candy

      Now handcuff you to the interface

      1. Clare (web specialist)

        Windows 8 will be here to stay

        Because innovations introduced in the Microsoft software won’t be available on Windows 7. It never ceases to amaze me that you non-technical staff seem to want to your retain old-fashioned and obsolete software.

        Working on the leading edge of technology, as I do, every day I am surprised by the massive advances in both functionality, and performance of the new software. As the technological leader of the software industry much of this is produced by Microsoft. Clearly windows 8 will be a huge advance.

        @Titus I have heard the only reason that companies use Ubuntu is because they are trying to save money, much the same reason as people who install Linux. At the end of the day this is a false economy, and they always end up getting a proper Windows OS in the end.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Vista was a downgrade from XP in terms of technology and functionality.

          Don't you DARE expect people to honestly believe Microsoft keep producing better technology. This has been proven time and time again not to be true.

          Remember: Microsoft has never had an interest in enabling consumers. It wants to ring-fence and squeeze money out of consumers. It was a pioneer in this field and Apple stood on its shoulders.

        2. CD001

          Clare (web specialist)

          ... web specialist ... seriously?!

          "I have heard the only reason that companies use Ubuntu is because they are trying to save money, much the same reason as people who install Linux."

          You are taking the piss, right?

          IF you were a web specialist you would probably NOT be running Windows on your servers - you'd probably be running some variety of *nix (better yet FreeBSD for a web server).

          Windows for workstations, fine, Active Directory is useful for office-wide control/updates, whatever ... but the only reason I've ever encountered for using Windows on a web server is for fleecing clueless clients for extra cash... "Yeah, we run industry standard Microsoft software, you've heard of Microsoft right, well, yeah - we use their web servers - it's a bit more expensive but you get what you pay for..." (or words to that effect).

          I'm guessing you're one of _those_ "web specialists" - the kind that, if you were in the building trade, you'd be running down the street being chased by Dominic Littlewood.

        3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Windows 8 will be here to stay

          Why the down-votes, peeps? I thought it was an excellent troll.

        4. Cyberspice

          Re: Windows 8 will be here to stay

          Dear Claire Web Specialist,

          Got a good investment in M$ shares have you? That's the only reason I can see why you're spouting the drivel that you are!

          As a company that plays catch up most of the time Microsoft is only of importance really on the desktop and some areas of the server market where you want to employ staff who don't need the skills to run a proper UNIX set up. You as a "web specialist" must know that most of the servers running sites out there and *NIX systems. When you look at smart phones and other devices too M$ very much has a catch up position.

          Sure for the average home user who wants a cheap laptop and an operating system on it to browse the web, reply to e-mails, play a bit of games, and watch porn windows is good enough. In fact I finally bought a copy of Windows 7 for gaming (dual boot my machine). But the users also don't need to upgrade to the latest and greatest if the OS does what they need it to do. What would Windows 8 give them on top of what they have?

          For the company with a mass install of 'doze they've all just spent money finally to upgrade from XP straight to Windows 7 (bypassing the abominable Vista). They're not going to pay out again for 8. In fact I predict 8 to be the next Windows Vista.

          As for Ubuntu. My elderly father copes quite happily with it on his netbook (he's in his 70s) after having several Windows machines and hardly using them. Again all he wants to do is browse the web, read e-mail, and watch iPlayer. The company I work for has standardised on Ubuntu on the desktop (because we are mainly developers and so need a reliable operating system - Windows if needed is run in a VM under Linux). This is not an issue for us because we have IT staff who actually know what they are doing and haven't done some M$ "learn which boxes to click" course.

          I will be sticking with my "old-fashioned and obsolete software" in so much as I will not be upgrading my Windows 7 installs in the foreseable future. I would rather keep a stable current install than risk getting the bleeding edge. Its the reason why I haven't installed Lion as the main OS on my MacBook Pro yet. These things are tools and as such I need a reliable tool.

          Melanie (Senior Software Consultant)

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Umm, define a 'proper Windows OS'. Do you mean one that 'works', such as Windows Vista? Or perhaps following the example of many Redmond developers who use ...err ... Ubuntu.

          Microsoft fanbois and fangurls notwithstanding, what exactly is a Windows 'web specialist' please? One who codes in just .Net?

          1. Clare (web specialist)
            Thumb Down

            @CD001 and Cybespice

            @CD001 Why do you think it is appropriate to insult people on comment boards? I have never been chased down the streets by Dominic Littlewood. Perhaps you should stick to factual arguments rather than personal attacks.

            @Cyberspice As a woman yourself I am astonished that you would wish to persist with the age old stereotypes of IT, it is complicated, needs some bizarre code, or should be developed in arcane technology. If you google Unix systems it was developed in 1969…………… need I say more!

            On your point with regard to Ubuntu maybe Technophobe is your ….. Anyway I take exception to you describing my course as an ‘M$ "learn which boxes to click"’ course. Code like javascript has to be written and have the correct syntax to work well!

            1. Vic

              > If you google Unix systems it was developed in 1969…………… need I say more!

              If you look at the history of breathing, you'll find it started long before Unix.

              Are you *sure* old stuff is bad? I'm rather keen on continuing with old, proven technology, personally...


              1. Anonymous Coward

                @Artic Fox

                I did say it was a Vista PC. It has been working fine with Ubuntu ever since. Following the age old maxim of 'if it ain't broke', I don't know about Windows 7 at home. Although given how badly Vista works perhaps Microsoft should have fixed it before releasing Windows 7.

                1. Vic

                  > given how badly Vista works perhaps Microsoft should have fixed it before releasing Windows 7.

                  Windows 7 *was* the fix for Vista.

                  The brand was so damaged by that point, they had to change the name.

                  Shame, really - the original specs for Longhorn looked *very* good. What was eventually released as Vista didn't come close to meeting them...


            2. eulampios

              >>If you google Unix systems it was developed in 1969…………… need I say more!

              O Sancta Simplicitas! Clare, if you google the word "computer" you will find that the mathematician John von Neumann credited for its invention (or, rather theoretical foundation of it) died in the fifties, ergo..... ? As far as the same Unix argument goes, do you know that the Microsoft Windows is almost entirely written in C and it's descendant C++ languages? Did you google to learn that C was created almost simultaneously with Unix, for which it was designed? Moreover, if you start counting all the ideas and technologies MS borrowed from Unix, you better use a calculator with arbitrary precision. There is still a lot ideas belonging to Unix and its descendants that Microsoft remains blind and deaf to. This is not a constant behavior, though. They often first deride an idea and then ooops .... 20 years later all of a sudden they borrow it (and might simultaneously manage to even patent it!!!) . To mention just a few, multi-user capabilities, a go and powerful shell (Pshell), permissions (still broken though), GUI-less CLI-only servers....

            3. Keep Refrigerated

              Web Specialist

              Tell me how does Frontpage 2002 cope with HTML5? Is there a plugin you use or do you simply make sure you webpage works in Netscape and consider it a done deal?

              Brilliant troll account or out of your depth and in the wrong neighbourhood, hard to tell.

              1. Anonymous Coward


                When I said 'fix Vista' I mean well 'fix it', and not expect me to shell out yet more cash for an upgrade so that OS works as it should have done in the first place.

                1. Vic

                  > When I said 'fix Vista' I mean well 'fix it'

                  Yes, I know what you meant.

                  Microsoft decided it was better for them to abandon the tarnished brand than to help out people like you.

                  That really only leaves you with two options...


            4. yeahyeahno

              Clare (web ignoranous)

              @Clare (fool)

              "If you google Unix systems it was developed in 1969…………… need I say more!" You what?! Do you honestly think for one second that code has not been maintain and re-written many times over?

              If you honestly think that Unix (and I'm guessing you also mean Linux) today is what it was in 1969, then I think you need to shut your mouth and get some coding experience under your belt, because you clearly have none at the moment.

              1. Clare (web specialist)


                Just because you choose to code in out of date languages from the last century does not give you the right to be so insulting. If you could communicate effectively people might take your opinion a bit more seriously. If it is any of your business I have a lot of coding experience, and a higher education qualification to prove it. The college however chose to teach programming a 21st century language.

                1. Vic

                  > Just because you choose to code in out of date languages from the last

                  > century does not give you the right to be so insulting

                  Perhaps not. But your insistent ignorance (or is it trolling?) certainly does.

                  > I have a lot of coding experience

                  Somehow I suspect your definition of "a lot" would differ from mine. And that of many people here.

                  > a higher education qualification to prove it.

                  Send it back. You were ripped off.

                  > The college however chose to teach programming a 21st century language.

                  I very much doubt that. There really aren't very many of those...


                  1. yeahyeahno


                    No, no, she does program in a 21st century language (well if you ignore Frontpage 98 etc)

                    But lets forget FP98, and bow to her incredible depth of knowledge as a web specialist who sees the web as a "curse" on modern society, and let her rant and froth all the more.

                2. yeahyeahno

                  @Clare (Web numpty)

                  So I had to check you out, check to see if you troll elsewhere.

                  It was odd to see a web specialist saying the see the internet as a curse on modern society, but when I saw this post I understood it all.

                  You "program" in Frontpage 2002 and you think that gives you insight into complex architectures like operating systems, I laughed so hard I nearly wet myself.

                  You do seem real, a single mum with teenage children, you hate porn, supported people who incited violence in the England riots as just being teenagers, yet support wholesale blanket censorship, those last two points, when you really think about it are contradictory, apparently you support full self expression for teens who advocate attacks, but you think the human naked body is too disgusting to be seen, let alone bother to think about people self expression when it comes to the naked body.

                  But all in all as someone who "programs" in Frontpage 2002, you get no little respect from me when you post anything on a subject that involves any technical aptitude or understanding.

                  1. Clare (web specialist)
                    Thumb Down


                    Again your puerile personal attacks detract from any point that you are trying to make.

                    In response to the one technical comment you have made in the 21st century IT professionals need to take a more holistic perspective on the full life cycle of services supplying business functionality. The objective is that IT delivers services to the business. It is the means to an end not some sort of hobby for the ‘IT Staff’. With Microsoft Windows systems the complex architecture of the Operating system doesn’t need to be considered.

                    On your other point about the riots I don’t support all of the actions of the people involved, but you have to sympathise. Listening to the stories from the protestors they clearly identified themselves as being socially excluded youths who have been disenfranchised by the rest of society.

                    I don’t follow your argument about this support being contrary to my attitude towards porn. Do you know many women that don’t consider porn to be sexual objectification? Given the rest of your comments I guess the question should be do you know any women? You get no respect from me at all!

    5. Anonymous Coward

      Oh, P---LEASE!

      Are you so mean that you don't want to keep Mr Ballmer in his job?

    6. ad47uk

      You don't, I am not going to bother, don't see the need for MS tiled interface and ribbon menu system.

      I updated pretty quick to window 7 even using the beta for months, but not to with windows 8

    7. Frank 2
      Thumb Up

      Muliple devices

      So you can run the same software on your phone on your tablet and on your desktop.

    8. deadlockvictim Silver badge

      Microsoft wants your money

      From their perspective, you need to buy their software as soon as it comes out.

      It will also lower your Total Cost of Ownership (and almost written with a straight face too).

  4. Error Message Silver badge

    OK, I'll bite

    Why would I want to upgrade my Lenovo laptop running Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit to Windows 8? It's now stable. Finally.

    1. Coldhand

      Answer is simple, yes it might be stable and functional but people like to experience and live life on the edge, they like to try new things instead of sticking to the current/ norm realm.

      1. John Bailey


        But the question was about upgrading from 7 to 8.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          If, as current publicity suggests, there are no major new features in Win8, the transition will probably be more like Vista->7 than XP->Vista. The latter was dreadful, but the former was well worth it if you had the money to spend.

          In fact, probably the best possible reason for *any* software upgrade is when the vendor says, "We haven't done much this time, just ironed out a few bugs and smoothed out some of the accidental pessimisations.".

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      You probably don't want to update

      But if you did and if Microsoft's claims are to be believed if you did your machine would probably use less memory and boot up faster.

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      You said it yourself, it's stable! What proper windows user would want that eh?

      Joking aside, I'll probably upgrade my home machine pretty early on, partly because I'm a glutton for punishment, and partly because I'll have to support it sooner or later, so I might as well get a head start.

      That said, Win 7 ran pretty much fine out of the box, and the only problems I've had seem to be hardware based, there's benefits in using Vista as a large scale beta test after all.

  5. George 24

    The most complicated

    The most challenging and complex process in upgrading to win 7 was to find out what licence was needed. Too many editions, too many different options for different countries. Lets hope MS has this sorted as well.

    1. HipposRule

      Just looked at our volume licencing site and there are 16 SKUs for Win7 pro alone. Admittedly there is duplication in a way as you can either get it with or without SP1 slipstreamed.

  6. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    "Extra levels"

    Sounds good. Do you get special ammo and stuff? And what do we do with all our XP?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ AC,

    it doesnt figure in it at all

    @Sureo and @Error Message,

    you dont, but please dont start moaning if / when MS or other developers start making Win8 only products

    @George 24

    Couldnt agree more, the number of SKUs available on win7 was daft, at least we didnt end up with the E editions as well

  8. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Dear Microsoft

    Can we have an 'Uber Geek' mode please.

    You know the one where you get out of our face and let us do what we want to.

    No nagging, 'are you sure'

    no enforced secutiry updates

    No metro

    Classic by default (ok, I can hear the groans)

    Some of us really want to just get on with our work

    Oh, and a way to actually make the latest versions of Office comply with the UK Disability discrimiation Act. Blue on dark blue fails miserably. Don't you know that the human eye has less blue receptors than Red or green? Grey on Dark grey does not work either.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Why do you think those things are mandatory

      Whatever Microsoft may do, they always bend over backwards to make their OS configurable. UAC can be disabled, windows update is optional, themes are switchable. So why assume you're going to be forced to use Metro this time around? There is no indication to me this will be the case.

      It is far more likely they will do their usual and jiggle the start menu / taskbar, explorer etc. but it will function more or less like it always did. And anything in the desktop (the desktop tile) will also function more or less like it always did. So you could ignore metro entirely if you wished. That stuff is mostly for tablets and replacing existing gadgets anyway.

  9. hitmouse

    Took long enough

    I saw MS demo a fast copy-based install before Vista came out. That was 9 years ago. What the %^%*^%*$ was going on?

  10. CraigRoberts


    Can't see any reason to upgrade from 7 to 8. Especially if it's limited to the Metro interface. Don't see how a Touch UI is supposed to be useful on a non-touch device. Plus I haven't just bought a 24" widescreen monitor to go back to having one app at a time visible... Maybe if the UI changed depending on what device you were on I'd be more interested...

    1. Frank 2
      Thumb Up

      erm... it does...

      That's the point, Metro is for phone and tablet but it also works on the desktop, On the desktop you can switch to 'Desktop' mode when working and 'Metro' mode when you want to check your position on the Angry Birds leaderboard.

      1. Armando 123

        I dunno, @Frank 2, it seems to me that people use desktops/laptops differently from mobile devices like phones and fondleslabs. Notice that Apple didn't put EVERYTHING from iOS into Lion, just things that made sense (and even then, only if your hardware, like a touchpad, made it sensible). Apple is by no means perfect, but they've shown a pretty good sense of what they can leave out to make a better device/system/etc. I haven't really seen this with MS, who have a "kitchen sink! more is better! pack it in! tighten up!" approach.

  11. TeeCee Gold badge

    Upgrade gripes.

    The only reason I saw for complaints about the upgrade complexity were that it was only actually possible from Vista.

    As world+dog was still on XP, that meant a largely manual process for most. While I can sort of see why, given that MS knew damned well that Vista had bombed in the marketplace there's the familiar stench of Redmond-brand FAIL about that.

    If either of the two Vista users are here, maybe they'd care to comment on what the Se7en upgrade was like for them?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Vista was hammered by bad press, by the time the SPs came out which ironed out the wee issues it was too late, and was essentially flogging a dead horse.

      What did windows 7 bring me over Vista?

      it was quicker on older hardware but more important than that is that Windows 7 brought confidance to the market, meaning 3rd party developers jumpped on board to support it, which good for us all.

      So the lesson of the vista story is this, dont say anything about your new OS unless its going to happen, half the crap vista took on was as a result of the original Longhorn and its demise, the crap it had to deal with delt vista a knock out blow that it couldnt recover from because the media and online users wouldnt let it. The fact is, Vista was a good OS, a couple of issues aside, but it was judged on what it WASNT, and not on what it was.

      Win 7 lived up to expectations and thus was largely excepted

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Vista was okay

        I remember the slagging Vista got and as an early user I didn't think much of it was justified. Yes it used more memory than XP and UAC was annoying, but it was a pleasant enough experience in day to day use, especially the compositing desktop which was much better than XPs. Windows 7 noticeably refined the experience, and slashed the memory requirements too. I run Windows 7 on a host of PCs including a netbook and I really like it.

      2. Nigel 11


        The real question is what did / does Vista or 7 bring us that we hadn't already got with XP?

        Answer #1 - Nothing, but it gets lots more money for Microsoft.

        Answer #2 - a less bugridden kernel. Maybe. But one can upgrade or completely replace a kernel without trashing the entire user interface. Why do Microsoft keep doing that? (Not just with the O/S, but Office and the other products as well).

        Answer #3 - same as #1. They make lots of money out of books, training courses, (re)certification exams ...

        Answer #4 - well, at least making all those old PCs obsolete makes sure new bigger faster ones get developed. Good for Intel, gamers, number-crunching scientists, and anyone who runs Linux on PCs that will be thrown away because they can't run Windows 7.

        OK, I'm happier now. I'm a number-crunching scientist who runs LInux when he can.

        1. Captain Underpants

          @Nigel - Rubbish!

          Amongst other things, Vista brought with it a user hierarchy that lets you actually work with standard user permissions (even though it still has the usual MS/Apple problem of creating an account during setup which is a member of the administrator group). Yes, you can do this with WinXP but for an awful lot of software it means nothing but heartache, whereas with the elevation system that Vista brought with it, relatively few problems materialise when running with user permissions (even those few problems that do appear are usually down to devs being lazy and not revising their code to take account of these changes).

          That alone makes it worthwhile, IMO.

          It also brought a bunch of other changes, many of them under the hood, but you appear more interested in dismissing it because it isn't Linux, so I'm not sure it's worth discussing them.

          It has many flaws, but those who like griping about Vista seem to have all forgotten what XP was like before SP2 came out (a good 3 years after its original launch) - XP SP0 didn't even have native USB2 support, FFS! SP1 was marginally less crap but certainly nothing to sing and dance about.

          (I don't particularly like the ever-shortening lifespan that Apple and MS seem to think a commercial OS should have, but it's glaringly obvious why they do it so at that point either put up with the rules of the game or don't play it.

          1. Nigel 11

            As you say you CAN do it with XP!

            "Yes, you can do this with Windows XP" and in fact I have many of my user's systems set up this way, must have been lucky not using the buggy softwares you refer to. Anyway, all MS needed to do was the necessary stuff to make it work better. Introduce 7-style escalation, if you really think that's a better way to accomplish this sort of thing than the (safer) sudo / "run as administrator" approach. Either way, no need to tear everything up and start again. Especially not at the user interface level. Maybe inside the kernel where only systems programmers tread.

            The rest of your comments seem to be making my point as well. XP was indeed quite poor when it first shipped. It has been improved *incrementally*, as you acknowlege. Facilities have been added without tearing up the framework. If it's true that the XP kernel was an irredeemable mess by SP3, then by all means rewrite it. I explicitly pointed out that it's possible to ship a new kernel under the hood, without the user even having to notice the change. That's incremental improvement.

            I'd have welcomed Windows 7 if it had preserved interfaces from XP, changing only the ones which had to be killed because the XP way was an irredeemable security weakness or suchlike. Instead they ripped everything up and started again. Loads of costs in lost productivity while you replace your old skill-set with a new skill-set (for everyone from secretaries to sysadmins). For example, many of the applets in the 7 control panel are recognisably the same ones that ran under XP, so why move them all around under a brand new control panel UI so you have to learn to find them all over again? WHY???

            If they did the same thing to a car they'd have put the accelerator where the brake is at present, and replaced the wheel with a joystick. It might even be a better way to design a car, if cars didn't already exist. Car manufacturers will never make such changes, becase with cars that would kill people, not just cause lost productivity and unnecessary annoyance.

            BTW I don't regard this specifically as a Microsoft problem. I'm equally scathing about whoever was responsible for Gnome 3 on Linux (which destroys Gnome 2 - you can install as many different window managers as you like on Linux, EXCEPT not Gnome 2 and Gnome 3 on the same system).

            1. Captain Underpants


              The thing is, though - enabling standard user accounts to work properly under Windows XP involved a horrible amount of effort with group polices and all the rest, and is frankly far beyond what I'd expect *anyone* to do in the case of a non-domain-bound machine, because that way madness lies.

              As for "no need to tear everything up and start again"...well, neither of us have seen the source code or know how much of it was inherited from previous iterations for legacy reasons, so let's not start being proscriptive without all the facts to hand, eh?

              You appear to have interpreted my point about XP differently than I expected - I was stating that XP was an unusable load of crap for its first year and a moderately crap OS for the next two, and made the leap forward 3 years into its existence. The same timescales, roughly, applied to Vista. Yet because XP had been around for longer, the Bad Old Days have been forgotten and its now The Good Old Days. Microsoft's desire to shore up quarterly profits meant that instead of sticking with Vista for longer, they jumped to Windows 7.

              I don't disagree with your UI complaints, though I will point out that if it frustrates you that much your best bet is to get to grips with the Windows CLI. It's possible to do an awful lot at the CLI that will work on XP, Vista and 7 without hassle.

        2. A. Nervosa
          Thumb Down


          "The real question is what did / does Vista or 7 bring us that we hadn't already got with XP?"

          Is that question seriously being asked with a straight face? If it is, you might want to use that Ubuntu desktop of yours to do a little more research before making yourself look completely ignorant.

      3. pepper

        Vista wasnt a good OS at all compared to either XP or win7. I have used it for 1.5 years and was damn happy to move on.

    2. Z80


    3. Mister Major

      My upgrade from Vista was awesome: I got so pissed off with the system that I upgraded to Ubuntu instead. Haven't looked back since.

  12. banjomike

    ...some users complaining that the process was too complicated...

    These were presumably the same users who found the Explorer Properties button too complicated. the Explorer status bar too confusing, who feel that the ribbon is marvelous, etc etc etc. There aren't a lot of examples of Microsoft totally rehashing products because "some users complained" and I doubt that this is one of those examples.

    And it probably won't allow "full support ... formatting during the upgrade process", it will the same Quick Format crap that Windows 7 install has which is incapable of doing a proper format or spotting damaged sectors on the disk before installing.

    This is just more dumbing down.

  13. D@v3

    I thought the install process was pretty simple for win7. I've had to run through it several times (on different machines) and every time, I'm impressed by how quick and easy it is. If they have really managed to make it 'easier' good on 'em.

  14. Lord Midas


    My Win 7 64bit Ultimate is massively unstable. From not doing anything to just copying files, it will simply freeze for 15 seconds at a time. Totally unusable and requires a power off.

    Trouble is that because it didn't actually "crash" there is no Event logged for the freezing. It's the most frustrating thing and there appears to be no answer on the internets.

    Win8 better be better

    1. Paul Westerman

      Re Gah!!

      Maybe, but that's just you mate. My Win7 64 Ultimate is solid as a rock, thanks, as was Vista before it. You need to rebuild and check everything 'cos something's wrong with yer pooter.

    2. JC_
      Thumb Down

      Fix/Replace Your Hardware

      or the driver(s). Something's broken, and it's probably not Windows!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's clearly a hardware problem

      Possibly a failing HDD.

    4. Luna Tick

      Sorry, try again

      Win 7 really redefined stability for me. I don't remember the last time my machine crashed and it's a dev PC (ancient Pentium D to boot) with tons of questionable crap installed and slew of devices. I've had few "bad" installs building HTPC's for friends but I've always tracked those down to a hardware problem which once addressed fixed the problem 100%.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      What is it with supposed IT people (you are posting on an IT web site) complaining about things to do with an OS - beit Lin Win Mac - where the problem is clearly with the individual install and not a general problem.

      You are supposed to be smarter than this, that's why you're posting on an IT web site.

      The problem is with your hardware, or your particular build. Fix it. Get over it and stop blaming the vendor.

  15. Steve 48
    Thumb Down

    I never run an upgrade, I always do a fresh install on a clean disk - that way if it goes wrong I can simply swap the original disk back in. Okay it can be a bit of a bind re-installing all the apps that I use, but on the upside it means that the ones I don't use anymore don't get installed and all the little bits that get left behind from an un-install are gone too & the registry is cleaner.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      ^ what he said...

    2. JimmyPage


      some licenses are upgrade *only* ... add to that there are some versions of tne base OS that are unupgradeable (Vista Home Basic, anyone ?), and it's not always that easy.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Not that hard to achieve anyway...

    We can pretend this to be a huge achievement but we all know the truth...

    Due to the constant negative comments regarding Windows 8 they probably decided to take out all the "Using Windows has become even more fun now" nonsense from the install process and are now baffled at the new speeds.

  17. Ian McLaughlin
    Thumb Down

    This is rubbish

    There's not enough time to host a Win8 party

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot

      Oh no!

      Those cringe worthy videos of mum, dad, kids and granny coming round for a Windows "install party" as designed by the marko-droids at Redmond!


  18. Mikel

    Only a fool does an upgrade

    It's a Microsoft OS. Wipe and install fresh. Upgrading is for people who don't know better.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I'd go so far as to say: It's any OS, just rebuild from scratch if you at all can.

      Against my better judgment I upgraded my partner's Mac G5 from 10.4 to 10.5, it completely borked it. If Apple can't manage a good upgrade, with their locked down hardware, no-one can.

      1. Vic

        > I'd go so far as to say: It's any OS, just rebuild from scratch if you at all can.

        Disagree. When I upgrade most of my systems, I just run "preupgrade", and a bunch of stuff happens in the background while I get on with what I'm doing.

        After a while, I'll be prompted to reboot the machine - and when I do (my choice, not the OS vendor's), the new OS will boot. Dead simple.

        > Against my better judgment I upgraded my partner's Mac G5 from 10.4 to 10.5,

        > it completely borked it.

        I did the same with my G5, as well as my G4. It worked as well as Apple stuff ever does.

        The tricky bit came when I tried to update a Mac Mini I'd bough second-hand. I didn't want the old user account on there, so I deleted it. After the machine had downloaded the update file it wanted. Did you know that it tracks the files it has downloaded, and refuses to grab them again? Even if they're no longer there?

        > If Apple can't manage a good upgrade, with their locked down hardware, no-one can.

        Disagree. Apple do a number of things rather well, and a few things rather badly. Package management is decidedly weak under OSX - and that is the key to smooth upgrades.


      2. Mikel

        RE: Err...

        @AC Wednesday 23rd November 2011 13:58 GMT : I'd go so far as to say: It's any OS, just rebuild from scratch if you at all can.

        No. It's better to install fresh Windows and OS-X. Common Linux distributions like Ubuntu you just hit the upgrade button if you feel the need - which isn't often. A fresh install is good now and then to clean out the junk we've accumulated in our files, but there's nothing special about upgrade day. Frankly Linux is better about completely removing stuff on an uninstall. Some operating systems actually let you swap out the kernel in-flight without a reboot, which I think is really slick - so you can do an upgrade without even saving your documents.

        One day us Linux folks will just check the box for "live stream my updates" and be done with it. It's been some time since updates went horribly wrong for us as I recall, and Linux PCs tend not to get slower over time like Windows and (to a lesser extent) Mac boxen do. I imagine not having to run antivirus helps a lot.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          It may well have been some time since updates on linux went badly wrong, but I still can't use my Arduino IDE because of a bad update to GCC about three months ago. There was about a month of argument between the Arduino and GCC guys before the GCC guys even accepted that they were responsible for the problem. It's been fixed for a few weeks now, but I'm still waiting for it to get into the updates for Fedora.

  19. LarsG


    for the sake of upgrading rather than a necessity.

    What's the point having mobile phone tech on you computer?

    1. The BigYin

      Makes you... a new PC?

  20. PTR


    Why would anyone want to upgrade an OS?

    By the time a new OS is available, its waaaay past time for a rebuild anyway. I can't think of anything more daft that upgrading. A nice clean fresh install for me please, every single time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's the Windows Way

      Proper operating systems do not need those "rebuilds."

      1. Nigel 11

        Not quite

        Certainly an old version of Red Hat Linux (say) will carry on working as well as it did on day one as long as there is hardware that it can run on.

        However, five years after the next major version is shipped the security patch stream will dry up, and you'll discover that upgrading rather than rebuilding from RHEL5 to RHEL6 isn't supported. You can try ... most folks who have tried recommend that you don't. I've occasionally longed for a major version upgrade wizard or suchlike, but I can quite see why they don't think it's economically viable to supply and support the same. Too large a phase space to test well in advance.

        1. Vic

          > upgrading rather than rebuilding from RHEL5 to RHEL6 isn't supported.

          Errr - you sure? I've done exactly that from 3->4->5. Not tried 6 yet...

          > You can try ... most folks who have tried recommend that you don't

          With the possible exception of RHEL6 (to which I haven't tried an in-place upgrade yet), I would very much recommend upgrading. It keeps the machine in basically the state you left it, but with a new OS driving it.

          The only time you'll get serious problems is when people have installed unpackaged software on the machine. That is likely to get broken. My advice is *always* to package stuff - it makes the audit trail so much simpler...


        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Rebuilds/Reinstalls, not upgrades

          One you do because your system is grinding to a halt, and there is no other way you can inject any sort of life into it --- the other, you do to get something better, or bigger. Even if you are responding to pressure from suppliers, withdrawal of support, etc etc, it is still your choice, because the system you have works anyway.

          Microsoft lowered the bar to allow things like daily reboots (well, twice-daily crashes in the earlier days) and reinstalls to become "normal" routine procedures.

          With Ubuntu, for instance, something different happens. They may have "Long Term Releases" --- but when it comes to something new that catches your eye, chances are that the developer has not even thought of anything previous to the latest version. Makes a bit of a joke of "Long-Term" unless it is a server, or perhaps something that only /ever/ does office routine stuff.

    2. ad47uk
      Thumb Down

      I only just built my Desktop, so are you saying that when windows 8 comes out next year I should build another one?

      I don't want to do a fresh install for a few years, my system is backed up using Acronis true image, so if my hard drive goes belly up I can just put the image back on.

      All the software i got with plug ins galore makes it a pain in the neck to do a fresh install, sop if I was going to update to Windows 8, which I am not, then a upgrqde that keeps my settings and software is the best way to go, if it works.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ L Midas

    Sounds like you got hardware issues (namely HDD or possibly faulty RAM), if not it will be chipset drivers :)

    1. badger31

      I agree

      Sounds like a duff HDD to me. Even a good HDD that has spun down can freeze your system for a couple of seconds while it spins back up.

  22. Obvious Robert

    Metro UI

    Yes, yes, but I thought Windows 8 was basically all about Metro?

    It's like announcing dog shit has been made easier to tread in.

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot

      "It's like announcing dog shit has been made easier to tread in."

      Pure genius!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boot CD > CD-Key > Agree Eula > Next > Next > Next > Install.

    It doesn't get any easier. Do you even remember Windows 3.11, where you had to figure out IRQ addresses for the mouse and the modem at the same time and DMA channels for the sound card, otherwise they would conflict, even after you had them properly installed?

    I guess not.

    I spent most time of Win 7 install typing in CD-keys and searching for the keyboard layout than anything else. Ditto for some Linuxen.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Not everythings fine for the Linuxen

      Apart from the stuff you mention (although it is nice to be able to specify one's disk layout, and they have done a nice compromise of geekyness and ease) Ubuntu spends most of its installation time dowloading from the net.

      "Installing Language Files..." Errr... Why? I only speak one!

      Upgrading Applications... Even though I only downloaded the CD ISO that day. And I'd SO much rather do that *after* I've had a chance to configure a decent-speed mirror in the software sources.

      Hey! A Linux rant in a Microsoft thread: Is this a first? Is it even allowed?

      1. Nigel 11

        Wrong distribution?

        Try Centos or Scientific Linux? Everything on the DVD for every minor release, yum update once you have a good network connection or a local mirror set up.

      2. Vic

        > Ubuntu spends most of its installation time dowloading from the net

        Ubuntu != Linux.

        Most disties don't do a net install. You've picked one that does. It's a bit rich then to complain that it's doing a net install.


        1. Anonymous Coward

          It isn't a net install.

          The CD is supposed to be *everything* except the real multitude of language files, for which a DVD ISO is available.

          They *do* a net install image, which is tiny, and relies on downloading almost everything, or keeping an utterly minimum system. Probably that is what I should do, and should have done.

          It's a learning process ... ...

      3. yeahyeahno


        When Ubuntu asks if its OK to download updates on the internet, you could of course always say "No".

  24. Citizen Kaned

    i wonder....

    if it still has the same useless UPGRADE system:

    i dont like upgrading, i prefer clean install. you used to be able to just provide a serial from old OS version and do a clean install.

    BUT i now have xp full, vista upgrade and win7 upgrade. if i need to do a fresh install i need to install XP (40 mins) then install the upgrade which can take much longer than fresh install. GRRR

  25. Anonymous Coward

    1.44 MILLION files?

    Learning the ropes on the first computer I ever met, I remember trying out

    $ ls -lR | wc -l

    ISTR that I was /astonished/ that it came to something like seventeen /thousand/

    ok, ok, yes... I do know that is a very innacurate method of cournting files/directories, but I was only learning. I also know that my Ubuntu system has far, far more files than that. but not 1.5 million, even with me installing everything I find that looks even vaguely clever.

    Oh! come to think of it, that's why I'll never be doing a Win8 upgrade anyway :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't ever look in the C:\WINDOWS directory... the godawful unholy sludge of disorganised haphazardly named and located crap in there makes my eyes bleed. Pretty obvious the Windows devs, when asked where some OS libraries or files should live, started saying "Fuck knows any more, just call it whatever and chuck it in the windows directory" round about Windows 95 time, and have done so ever since...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Not just C:\Windows utter mess...

        Don't forget the different versions of the same .DLL that installed over each other and broke whatever programs that used the other version. Although people got better really fast, and it was almost sorted by the Windows 99 version (er, 98-SE).

        Beware, because old software still does that.

  26. Mike Brown

    so we still need to pay?

    why? In the age of free updates (android, PS3, et al) why do microsoft feel its OK to charge customers to upgrade to a newer version of windows? Surely it should be free by now?

    1. Captain Underpants

      @Mike Brown


      In the case of the PS3, the hardware and OS are supplied by the same company who decided to supply you with updates.

      In the case of Android, it's open-source(ish).

      In the case of Windows, it's closed source commercial software. Saying it "should be free" is like saying cancer "should be curable" - it requires a local context that is missing from your statement. It should be free because you don't want to pay for new versions? It should be free because the Alien Marmite Gods say so? What's your logic?

    2. Dave's Jubblies

      For real?

      Is this a serious post????

  27. CmdrX3

    To be honest the upgrade procedure has never bothered me in the slightest what has always bothered me is the fucking hours of installing updates, patches, service packs and seemingly endless net framework updates we usually end up having to sit through. On this one I've got to give it to Apple (much as it pains me). One large combo update every so often with a few updates in between. Even on a reinstall of OSX it's basically install OS, install update combo and possibly a few program updates and it's job done. It's a shame it's such a dull OS.

  28. hugo tyson

    Windows 2000 is stable. Now.

    My laptops run either Ubuntu LTE, or Windows. The Windows ones have become extremely stable in the last year since they stopped doing updates to Windows 2000; since then, I can just turn the machine on and it, like, works! without using all the CPU and disc for 20 minutes on MS update, without insisting on a reboot, without any wizards bothering me. It's like it actually does the job it's supposed to, without stealing my time or electricity or attention.

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot

      You've woken the beast now, my friend!

      "I can just turn the machine on and it, like, works!"

      Are you one of my kids?

      It either does work or it does not! It cannot "like" work, be similar to working, it works or it fails to work.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Windows 200 is stable now

      The moral is clear: If you want a stable installation of Windows 8, you can either wait a decade or two for it to become a moribund museum piece or you can learn how to switch Automatic Updates to "just tell me they are available". In your case, it sounds like the former will prove the quicker option.

  29. jzlondon

    Welcome to the party, Microsoft. I'm willing to bet that the process still won't be as easy as the Mac OS Lion upgrade.

    Click, download, install. Job done. No silly questions, no fussing about.

    1. Captain Underpants
      Thumb Down


      Yeah, "Click, download, install, job done" - except for the couple of gigs worth of updates including the bump to 10.7.2, several firmware updates and a recovery drive image update.

      But hey, let's not let facts get in the way of OS preference pissing matches, eh?

    2. Steve Renouf

      You're kidding right?!

      "Click, download, install. Job done. No silly questions, no fussing about.

      House Rules Post your own message"

      I have the misfortune to have a friend who switched to MAC and it's been nothing but a headache ever since he let it upgrade to Lion! The most infuriating issue on the list being the inability of the MAC to keep the WiFi connection alive!

      I say "I" have the misfortune to have ... because I've moved from support his PC, which I knew inside out, to supporting his MAC which does things in weird illogical ways...

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've said it before

    Microsoft is making a mistake not to keep supporting xp past the eol, if they wanted to profit, they could charge for security updates. I would pay as much as windows 8 per seat to keep production boxen going. But just like our crazy fucking governments (respectively) no person with common sense will step up and say, okay we are changing the law, the law sucked, with brevity, clarity, and speed here's the new law. It really is that simple, Microsoft can simply say, " the xp eol is nullified. long live xp, now give us more money for updates"

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But can it install a few updates without requiring 3 consecutive reboots, during which it'll spend minutes grinding the disk incessantly before each shut down or letting you finally log in? Nope? Still not caught up to linux package managers then... :>

  32. Armando 123

    Until ...

    ... you can use a firewire or USB cable to enable target mode, the upgrade path is still too complicated. Apple figured this out about a decade ago.

    Seriously, I've done about five or six Mac upgrades for myself + family + friends since then, and the Target mode makes this dead simple. Hook up cables, boot new computer, boot old one into target mode, choose what to transfer, and go make some coffee.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Upgraded FromXP to Opensuse

    And never looked back

  34. marryo97


    I am new. I was suggested this site. I tried to post a new topic but was unable. Don't mean to hijack this thread but if someone could help me i would GREATLY appreciate it. I was given the task in class to eloborate on my lead role as a computer consultant.

    Thanks for any help

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Help!!!!

      At time of writing our forum is restricted (like Slashdot, say) to comments on articles. We will set up reader-generated forums in coming months.

This topic is closed for new posts.

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