It seems Microsoft have indeed been listening – in response to a survey which indicated that the majority of users find the upgrade installation process complex and challenging, they have streamlined, enhanced and simplified the whole shebang for Windows 8.
Windows 7 went a long way toward alleviating the struggles when applying upgrade media, including Upgrade Adviser and Easy Transfer tools. Windows 8 will integrate both tools into a single, end-to-end installer which is capable of performing all preparatory tasks; compatibility checking, settings/files transfer, etc. and requiring as few as 11 clicks total – compared with the four different products and up to 60 screens when migrating to Windows 7.
This non-destructive installation has also been streamlined by applying changes to the way in which existing personal data/files are protected. For Windows 7, each file and document was moved one by one and then re-instated once the upgrade was completed. The Windows 8 installation will move entire folders instead, making the process considerably faster.
One major enhancement has come about per medium of Microsoft’s decision to provide official online delivery of a consumer-related Windows operating system for the very first time. Users will be able to download and install Windows 8 directly online from start to finish. The digital download will come ‘pre-keyed’, so it won’t be necessary to enter a serial number during installation, and the Windows 8 install image will be a slimmer 1.51GB – as opposed to the 2.32GB for Windows 7 x86.
Advanced users will still be able to choose from a range of options to give them full control, the clean install process is essentially unchanged, although an impressive 50% faster.
This from the Microsoft Setup and Deployment team:
With Windows 8 setup we have greatly improved both speed and ease of use, while still retaining all of the advanced setup functionality that many customers will demand. We have integrated what was once many separate steps for people to perform when preparing and starting their setup into a streamlined user experience, with a fast and reliable setup engine under the hood.