Friday, October 26, 2012

Windows 8 release date in Australia is today. Windows 8 Pro upgrade available now.

Windows 8 Pro upgrade is now available for download from Microsoft’s Online Store for $39.99. There are a number of things you should keep in mind.

1. Whilst at $39.99 the Windows 8 Pro upgrade is a bargain compared to previous upgrades, if you have an ageing computer think about whether it is best to save the money and put it towards a new computer, or to install Windows 8 Pro to keep your existing computer going and use the latest version of Windows.

2. Keep in mind Windows 8 is very different from what you are used to. At first this will be frustrating for most, but as with all past changes, once you get used to it, it won’t really matter.

3. Around 10% of older computers I’d estimate won’t be able to be upgraded. I estimate there will be over 100 million computers currently being used worldwide which won’t handle the upgrade. Check Microsoft’s refund policy, or the policy of the store where you purchase the software. The system requirements stated on the Microsoft web site do not take into account many computers which exceed the minimum requirement cannot install the Windows 8 upgrade. This is based on testing the Windows 8 Preview Release and I don’t believe this has changed.

The Microsoft Online Store provides a link to the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant which you can use to test if your computer can install Windows 8. I’d recommend running the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant before purchasing the Window 8 Pro upgrade. On the netbook computer I use (it is around three years old) 11 issues were found and one was quite serious.

4. Keep in mind only upgrading from Windows 7 is what we’d normally consider a real upgrade. Windows Vista and Windows 8 will require reinstallation of your applications and isn’t an upgrade to me. My concern here is people running the upgrade on a Vistra or Windows XP machine will end up with a machine where there programs won’t run if they don’t understand how the upgrade works. I’d suggest Windows XP and Windows Vista users consider the upgrade to be like a fresh install. If you had to do a new install of your computer what do you need to save first.

5. You should perform a backup of your data (including programs you may have download and any settings your programs may store) before you perform any upgrade to your computer.  

I’m suggesting to my clients they should purchase the upgrade to Windows 8 Pro even if they don’t install the upgrade right now. Until January 31st 2013 you’ll be able to buy Windows 8 Pro via download for $39.99. After that date the price will most likely revert to the very expensive upgrade prices of past, which means it may no longer be worth upgrading an older machine. This of course may change and Microsoft may decide to keep the upgrade prices at a reasonable level, but I wouldn’t count on it. Based on what I’ve read the upgrade to Windows 8 Pro on DVD could cost as much as $290. To me it doesn’t make sense to pay that much money to upgrade an older machine when that money could go to a new and faster machine.

You can buy Windows 8 Pro upgrade from a retailer, or save some money and download the upgrade from the Microsoft Online Store. The upgrade from a retailer will cost around $20-$30 more. I’m not sure at the moment, but I suspect the retail version may include a DVD. You should check if the DVD is included in the purchase from a retailer.

As I find issues with Windows 8 I’ll add the issues and solutions to MyAnswers for clients. I’ve already identified and documented a shortcoming of Windows 8 Mail which largely stops me from using Windows 8 Mail and may stop others.

Most importantly, do run the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant first to make sure upgrading your computer won’t cause you any grief. Well, no more grief than normal.

If you forget where you can download the Windows 8 upgrade, the Microsoft Online Store is available on the main page of JustLocal ( JustLocal is an advertising service I’ve created to help local businesses advertise cost effectively.

Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for computer support.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

NOTE: The link to the Microsoft store above is an affiliate link. Purchasing using this link means I receive a commission but does not affect the price you pay.

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