Microsoft has officially released the commercial version of Windows 8, which means that users will be able to digitally download a copy of Windows 8 with a genuine product key. In order to promote Windows 8, Microsoft has provided an upgrade offer for existing Windows 7, XP and Vista customers. That is, users can upgrade to Windows 8 for just $39.99. This offer is available only from October 26th to Jan 31st 2013.
Additionally, users who have purchased a new Windows based PC on or after June 2 will be eligible to avail Windows 8 Pro for only $14.99 or Rs. 700 INR. To avail this, head over to Windows Upgrade Offer to register yourself and get a Windows 8 Pro license copy for a discounted price.
Now, to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, you will require Windows XP with SP3, Vista or any version of Windows 7 running on your system. Microsoft has provided an easy way to download and install Windows 8, which is done by the Windows Upgrade Assistant.
Before we get started with the step-by-step Windows 8 install tutorial, you will need to download the Windows Upgrade Assistant from here. Run the upgrade assistant from your existing Windows install, which will perform an compatibility analysis of currently installed apps and devices.
Also, make sure your system meets the following minimum system requirements:
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2 (more info)
- RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
- Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
- Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
Once the Upgrade Assistant has completed the analysis, click the “Next” button. If you’re upgrading from Windows 7, then you will be provided with an option to keep your current Windows settings, personal files, and apps. However, this option is not available if you’re upgrading from Windows XP or Vista.
In the next step, click the “Order” button and then select the Windows 8 DVD option if you want to order the DVD separately. However, ordering a DVD is simply a waste of money as you can easily create your own bootable Windows 8 DVD in the later stages of the installation.
In the next screen, select your payment option — Credit card, or PayPal — and proceed further. Enter the necessary details along with the payment details. Make sure all the details provided are correct. Once done, click “Next”.
If you have a promotional code, you can enter it in the confirmation screen. Review your order, check the terms and conditions option, and click on “Buy.” After your payment is successful, you will get a new product key for your Windows 8. Along with that, you will also receive an email from Microsoft with the order details.
Start downloading Windows 8. This will take some time depending on the speed of your Internet connection. The download size is around 2.3 GB, so make sure you have an active Internet connection. Once the download has completed, the upgrade assistant will run a quick check whether all files have been successfully downloaded or not. This will also make the files ready for upgrade.
Now, you are provided with three options: Install now, Install by creating media, and Install later from desktop. Selecting “Install Now” will upgrade your current OS to Windows 8. The second option will let you create a ISO file, which you can burn into a DVD. If you’re selecting the first option, you can follow the onscreen instructions and skip the rest of this tutorial.
Finally, once the ISO file is created, use the provided option to open the DVD burner software, and burn the ISO image file. This will automatically create a bootable disc, which you can use it later to install Windows 8 from the boot screen.
Now, restart your system, and get into your BIOS and change the primary boot device to CD/DVD ROM. Save and restart your system again with the Windows 8 DVD inserted. The Windows 8 will begin its installation process and you can follow the onscreen setup instructions, which are pretty easy to understand.
Please note that you will have to create a new disk space if you want to keep your current OS (dual booting).