Microsoft slashes upgrade times for Windows 8
Claims the OS will install in as little as one-tenth the time as Windows 7
Computerworld - Microsoft claimed yesterday that users will be able to complete a Windows 8 upgrade much faster, in some cases in one-tenth the time it took similar-configured PCs to upgrade to Windows 7.
The time savings quickly accumulate the more files are on the to-be-upgraded PC, said Christa St. Pierre, a member of Microsoft's Setup and Deployment team, in a long entry on the company's "Building Windows 8" blog.
According to St. Pierre, a clean install -- where all files and data are wiped from the drive prior to installing Windows 8 -- should wrap up in 21 minutes, 35% less time than the 32 minutes Microsoft said it takes Windows 7 to do the same.
For what Microsoft called a "medium upgrade," one on a PC with 213,000 files and 77 applications, Windows 8 is three times faster, finishing the upgrade in just 42 minutes, versus Windows 7's two hours and 11 minutes.
The real savings show when machines sporting between 430,000 and 1.4 million files with between 90 and 120 applications are upgraded: In those scenarios, Microsoft promised that Windows 8 was between four and ten times faster in the time trials.
St. Pierre acknowledged that Windows 7 was no greyhound.
"If you had a large number of files on your system, you may have seen that installation times in Windows 7 didn't scale very well," she said, citing a graph that showed a "super upgrade" on a PC harboring 1.4 million files and 120 applications taking eight and a half hours.
That kind of time was actually on shorter end of Windows 7's upgrade duration: Two years ago, a different member of Microsoft's deployment team warned that some upgrades from Vista to Windows 7 could take up to 20 hours.
St. Pierre also said that only Windows 7 to Windows 8 upgrades will transfer applications, meaning that anyone migrating from Windows XP or Vista will be offered a clean install that transfers only personal files, or in the case of Vista, personal files and the user's Windows settings.
She did not specify which versions of the decade-old Windows XP could be upgraded to Windows 8, but said that in some cases, depending on the PC's hardware, it would be possible.
"We expect that many systems running Windows Vista and even Windows XP will also be eligible [for Windows 8 upgrades]," St. Pierre said.
St. Pierre added that upgrade from XP to Windows 8 will let users of the former transfer "personal files" -- she did not define that term, however -- perhaps making the migration more generous than Windows 7's.
That 2009 operating system only provided a clean install that required users to move files off the PC to an external hard disk drive using Windows Easy Transfer.
For Windows 8, Microsoft has ditched the transfer utility and included the personal file-retention feature in the overall upgrade process. However, St. Pierre did not spell out whether the Windows 8 setup will copy those files to external media -- perhaps a USB thumb drive -- or whether they would somehow be stored on the PC's primary hard disk drive before being restored after the upgrade completed.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Perspective: Microsoft risks security reputation ruin by retiring XP
- Microsoft plans to patch critical under-attack IE bug next week
- Microsoft reaches RTM milestone for Windows 8.1 update
- OS upgrades: Cheap is better than pricey, free is better than cheap
- No special treatment for China on XP, patches end April 8 in the PRC, too
- Microsoft ships Office 2013 SP1 the old-fashioned way
- Microsoft's 'go-low' play puts Windows revenue on the line
- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: Windows 7 lives!
- Users mock Microsoft for asking their help on XP-to-Windows 8.1 upgrades
- Microsoft concedes Windows 8.1 needs more for mouse, keyboard customers
Read more about Operating Systems in Computerworld's Operating Systems Topic Center.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
Red Hat Enterprise Linux - The Original Cloud Operating System
Linux adoption is growing against a number of measures, such as the
number of supercomputers that run Linux and the size of the contributing...
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Partners in Mobile Device Management: AirWatch & CDW When it comes to Mobile Device Management, it's not just what you know. It's who you know. That's why CDW partners with industry...
- Four Myths of High-Productivity App Dev Debunked Debunk the main myths surrounding high-productivity application development and how both platforms have overcome them.
- Redefine Your IT Operations: Remote Office IT Has Never Been Simpler Join us to see why PC Pro named Dell PowerEdge VRTX the "2013 Server of the Year." PowerEdge VRTX may be just what... All Operating Systems White Papers | Webcasts