Windows 8 will debut new ways of installing the operating system, including a web-based download alternative to purchasing a DVD box, simplification of the install process, and various methods to shorten the time taken to complete an installation.
Microsoft has yet to detail when Windows 8 will be delivered or even when a beta will be released, but the firm has disclosed significant changes coming to the install process when it is finally available, designed to make it easier for users of existing PCs to upgrade while still allowing professional users the ability to customise the experience.
Writing in the Building Windows 8 blog, Christa St Pierre of Microsoft's Setup and Deployment team outlined how there will be two setup user experiences; streamlined and advanced.
Streamlined setup is kicked off when a user starts the process from their old version of Windows and includes a web delivery option, while advanced setup is for users who want to do a clean install or custom configuration, and is entered by booting from a DVD or USB Flash drive.
"Most customers who buy a Windows upgrade from a retailer just want it to be fast and easy, but a few also want to be able to do some more complex things, such as setting up in a multi-boot configuration," St Pierre wrote.
The web-based setup experience will first check the PC for compatibility issues, before an integrated download manager pulls down the setup files, according to Microsoft.
During the checks, setup will look for applications and devices known to work in Windows 8 and those that will not, and produces a report allowing the user to decide whether or not to purchase and install Windows 8 at that point.
Microsoft even claims that users will be able to uninstall a problem application, free up disk space or make configuration changes without having to quit the Windows installer.
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