Microsoft announced the Windows 8 upgrade process will be a lot more streamlined than upgrading to Windows 7. A new post at the Building Windows 8 blog reveals upgrading to Windows 8 will be greatly simplified, the Upgrade Advisor and Easy Transfer wizards are now part of the installation, and the whole process has been streamlined to as little as 11 clicks.
The time required to finish the installation has also been greatly reduced, a typical clean install should take just 21 minutes, 11 minutes less than a Windows 7 install, and especially upgrading has been greatly enhanced. A chart on the blog reveals a Windows 7 upgrade on a system with 1.44 million files and 120 applications could take 513 minutes, but upgrading the same system to Windows 8 should take just 52 minutes.
Another exciting new aspect of Windows 8 is the web delivery system. Users will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 via a real web-based installer:
As I mentioned above, Windows 8 setup has been designed for online delivery, in addition to the local delivery from a DVD or USB drive. While downloading Windows has been possible in the past, it was primarily a physical media experience made available for download. In Windows 7 upgrades, for example, two copies were created of the download content on the customer’s drive—the compressed download and the extracted contents—requiring ~5 GB. This could be very problematic on space-constrained systems. Additionally, both the compressed and extracted download contents remained on disk, even after a successful installation.
For Windows 8, in addition to the setup experience improvements for web delivery, we also optimized other aspects. Our goal was to minimize the time it takes for the download to complete, verify the integrity of the bits that are downloaded, minimize disk space requirements, and ensure a resilient download experience for the customer. The two main areas of improvement for Windows 8 are constructing optimized download packages, and making sure that downloading is flexible and resilient.