Microsoft Pushes Streamlined Online Distribution for Windows 8
November 22, 2011 5:50 PM
comment(s) - last by
You'll now only need the central installer to migrate files and utilities, plus its faster to boot
Microsoft Corp.'s (
) next generation operating system, Windows 8 has some big shoes to fill, as the successor to the
fastest-selling operating system
in Microsoft's history. It is
currently in Developer Preview
(publicly available) and is set to launch late next year.
Microsoft has already showed off improved features, like a
less painful Windows Update process
decreased OS resource consumption
improved file transfers
showcases how it hopes to streamline the setup/upgrade process in Windows 8.
In Windows 8, Microsoft has folded Windows Upgrade Advisor and Easy Transfer into the central installer. The finished installer spits out a neat compatibility report as the first step in an upgrade process. The report tells you which apps and devices will work with Windows 8 -- and which ones won't.
Windows 8 takes Windows 7's installation utilities and merges them into a single streamlined multifunctional installer. [Image Source: Microsoft]
Assuming the user okays the upgrade, the installation process then begins. Much like Apple, Inc. (
), Microsoft has
moved its distribution primarily online
. While it will still offer boxed DVDs, for Windows 8 is primarily pushing a downloadable purchase. That download has your product key already activated, so it's all set to install without interruption. The download arrives via a robust built-in download manager. The download manager automatically detects the upgrader's language and the applicable upgrade version (32-bit or 64-bit).
The download has also been chopped down. A Windows 7 x86 ISO takes up 2.32 GB of space. By removing redundant files and folders, Windows 8 chops this down greatly. For example, for the x86 installer it is now reduced to 2.10 GB. Using specialized compression it then further crunches this down -- in the x86 case to 1.51 GB. The result is a smaller file that downloads quicker and takes up less hard drive space.
Once downloaded, you now have the chance to install on a secondary partition, with the Setup program helping burn an ISO or make a bootable Flash copy of the Windows installer to carry out the rest of the process. Regardless of your choice, you get to choose what kinds of files you carry over from your previous version of Windows.
Microsoft writes that the types of files that can be transfered over vary based on your OS version:
You can transfer these…
When upgrading from…
User accounts and files
The last step is for Setup to take your choice and finish the installation. In the case of error, e.g. lack of free hard drive space, Microsoft gives you the ability to go off and fix the issue and then return to the Setup.
The installation itself is faster, particularly for systems with lots of files and applications. Microsoft has optimized its installation process by using hard links, rather than physical file moves and a single folder for transfering your applications and files. Whole folders can now be moved, further speeding up the process. The result is a virtual flat line of install time versus the amount "stuff" on your machine:
Microsoft claims you will be able to install Windows 8 in as little as 11 clicks, an 82 percent reduction from Windows 7.
But Microsoft has also beefed up the array of options for IT professionals and power users. Most notably, it now offers the ability to create an unattend installation file that contains key injection and your answers for the setup process (including multi-boot partition installation, etc.). This is somewhat akin to the Linux "kickstart" file.
Windows 8 looks like it finally has progressed to a more logical setup -- a single multi-purpose utility, compressed downloads, unattended install options, hard linking old files and folders, and more.
If you want to try out Windows 8 Developer Preview, we suggest using multi-boot as performance is pretty sluggish in most virtual machines (not to mention it isn't compatible with others, like Microsoft's own Virtual PC). A good guide is posted
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Not gonna do it!
11/23/2011 12:39:26 PM
I've been building my own PC since 1990. The current iteration I use is basically the same PC evolved over the last 15 years. Yeah, 15 years, I said it. Okay, it doesn't have any of the same hardware in it from 15 years ago but... I've constantly ported/transferred/rotated hard drives over the years so for all intents and purposes, it is the same thing just upgraded a little bit at a time (including the case).
Oh, and I've never upgraded an OS on it... ever. I have my drives on a 6 year rotation schedule. When one gets six years old, I rotate it out with a newer/bigger one. Usually when I do this it is close to or around the time of upgrading the motherboard--and at that time I do a fresh install of whatever OS I want and then port over registry keys/users etc. keeping all the data the same. Having to reinstall stuff is bogus and you can avoid it if you know the right things to do.
"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Windows 8 Looks to Ditch the "Zombie" Security Restarts of Windows 7
November 15, 2011, 4:38 PM
Windows 7 Passes Windows XP in Just Two Years to Become Top OS
October 17, 2011, 12:00 PM
Windows 8 is Using Less Memory Than Windows 7
October 12, 2011, 7:02 AM
Quick Note: Windows 8 Developer Preview Already Tops 500,000 Downloads
September 14, 2011, 6:08 PM
Windows 8 "Hybrid" Boot Promises Drastically Faster "Cold" Boots
September 9, 2011, 4:40 PM
WhatsUp with WhatsApp?
August 29, 2016, 5:23 AM
Fuchsia – Google’s New Open Source Operating System
August 17, 2016, 6:30 AM
Windows 10: End of an Era & A New Beginning
August 1, 2016, 9:59 AM
Free Windows 10 offer ends July 29th, 2016: 10 Reasons to Upgrade Immediately
July 22, 2016, 9:19 PM
Quick Note: Whoops, Microsoft Pushed Unwanted Windows 10 to Some Users
October 15, 2015, 9:04 PM
Quick Note: Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10565 Fixes Boot Camp 6.0 Issues
October 13, 2015, 11:39 AM
Most Popular Articles
5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
No More Turtlenecks - Try Snakables
September 19, 2016, 7:44 AM
ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment in Children: Problem or Paranoia?
September 19, 2016, 5:30 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
Automaker Porsche may expand range of Panamera Coupe design.
September 18, 2016, 11:00 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Who is in Risk of Getting Oral Cancer?
Sep 23, 2016, 6:02 AM
France Bans Plastic Eating Utensils in Restaurants
Sep 18, 2016, 10:49 AM
Progress Against Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Sep 17, 2016, 5:30 AM
Apple Watch Series 2 - Number 1 in the Customer Satisfaction.
Sep 7, 2016, 6:19 PM
First Self-Driving Car debut on the streets of Singapore
Aug 28, 2016, 4:10 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information