Microsoft reveals Windows 8 upgrade paths for 7, XP, and Vista

With a new version of Windows on the horizon current Windows users are starting to wonder if they will be eligible to upgrade. Microsoft has shared with select partners which systems will be able to upgrade, and what they will need to do. Spoiler: if you’re on Windows 7 you’re in good shape. The full run down from ZDNet can be seen below:

  • Users will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 (the name of the entry-level consumer version of the operating system) from Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic and Windows 7 Home Premium while maintaining their existing Windows settings, personal files and applications.
  • Users will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro from Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate while maintaining their existing Windows settings, personal files and applications.
  • Users will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Enterprise (available to volume licensees with Software Assurance contracts only) from Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise while maintaining their existing Windows settings, personal files and applications.
  • Users will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 from Windows Vista (without SP1 installed) but only personal files (meaning data only) will be maintained. If upgrading from Vista with SP1, personal data and system settings will be maintained.
  • Users will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 from Windows XP with Service Pack 3 or higher but only personal files/data only will be maintained.

What won’t work: Users won’t be able to upgrade or keep their Windows settings, files or applications if doing a cross-language installation. (However, users will be able to keep personal files/data during a cross-language install by using Windows 8 Setup.) Microsoft also is also not allowing users interested in doing a cross-architecture — i.e., 32-bit to 64-bit — install to do so. Whether running Vista or Windows 7, these users won’t be able to keep their existing Windows settings, personal files and applications or data. They won’t be allowed to upgrade this way, period.

It looks like Microsoft has most users covered. A lot of people upgraded to Windows 7 since Vista was such a disaster, so most people should be able to upgrade and keep all their files and applications.


  • Still no news on the pricing? Or did I miss that somewhere along the timeline?

  • Still no word if I remember right.