Windows 8 upgrade options are crystallizing

This is still unofficial, but Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley reports on ZDNet that some details about Windows 8 upgrade paths are being shared privately by our friends in Redmond.

If this information is correct, Windows 8 will allow an upgrade installation on all versions of Windows going back to XP (Service Pack 3). However, only users upgrading from Windows 7 will be able to keep all their personal data, settings, and applications. Users upgrading from Vista SP1 can preserve personal data and system settings. And Windows XP and pre-SP1 Vista users will be able to preserve personal data only – all applications will have to be reinstalled and Windows system settings reapplied.

I am not happy about this.

My earlier post on this subject detailed my concerns about upgrading old Windows XP installations – both my own and those of my clients. This news does nothing to ameliorate those concerns. I’m still facing a multiple-day reconstruction of my own primary PC, and performing upgrades on my clients’ XP systems just wouldn’t be cost-effective because of the time involved.

I was really hoping that Microsoft would find some way to accommodate the (still) very large base of Windows XP installations. But assuming these reports are true, Microsoft is saying that’s as far as they’re willing to go. Upgrading from XP is not impossible, just difficult. Microsoft could make it easier, but I guess they have their own cost-benefit analyses to consider.

Windows Update: The XP dilemma
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