Windows 8 Upgrade Tricky for Windows XP, Windows Vista Users: Report

Thinking about upgrading from Windows Vista or Windows XP to Windows 8 when the latter is released by Microsoft sometime this fall? Well, it’s important you’re aware that users of these older operating systems could lose important system settings and applications in making the transition.

According to a new report from industry insider Mary Jo Foley, the upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 will be an easy one for most users of the former OS.

Here’s the deal: if you’re running any version of Windows 7, including Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Premium, or Windows 7 Professional, you’ll be able to make the upgrade to Windows 8 (basic or Pro) without much hassle. Your personal files, information, system settings, and applications (like downloaded or installed games) will all be kept in their current condition.

That means no headaches.

The only trouble may be for users of home versions of Windows 7 trying to make the leap to Windows 8 Enterprise. However, since the latter is directed at businesses (that hold special licenses and contracts), it’s unlikely that this will present problems to many people.

Unfortunately, things get much more complicated for people running Windows XP (released a decade ago) and Windows Vista (released in early 2007).

Before activating the Windows Installer, Windows Vista users who have not installed a single Service Pack (a collection of all system updates) will lose everything but their personal data in making the upgrade to Windows 8. However, if Service Pack 1 is installed, system settings will be kept.

As for Windows XP users (and there are a lot of them out there), they will need to upgrade to Service Pack 3 before even thinking about making the upgrade to Windows 8. Even in this scenario, they’ll lose everything but their personal information when making the change.

The upgrade to Windows 8 could also be frustrating for people changing their language of choice. For example, if someone moves from a German to English version of Windows, they will only be able to keep their personal data files. We imagine that the Microsoft contact center will have quite a few calls regarding this new operating system software.

These are just a few things to keep in mind while pondering an upgrade. Windows 8 is expected to launch in October.

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