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Windows 8: How to upgrade and what your PC must have

Microsoft has launched it’s latest OS, Windows 8, which is a major departure from the traditional Windows design that most of us have grown up with. Or in the words of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer,  “We’ve reimagined Windows, and we’ve reimagined the whole PC industry”.

The new system looks to merge a touch-screen with the PC experience and the new tile design template is all about achieving that.

So can you upgrade to Windows 8 from your Windows 7 or older PC and more importantly what happens when you upgrade? Here’s a quick guide to all your questions:

Those who prefer buying a DVD to upgrade will have to pay $69.99 (Rs 3800 approximately).

How do you know if you’re eligible for the upgrade: If you’ve bought a new PC with Windows 7 between 2 June 2012 and 31 January 2013 then you can get Windows 8 Pro for a promotional offer of Rs 699. Remember however, that you need register and download before 31 January to claim this special price. You can register here.

Those who bought a Windows PC before June 2 will be able to upgrade for $39.99 (Rs 2150 approximately). You must already have Windows XP with Service Pack 3, Windows Vista or Windows 7.

The following versions of Windows 7, (bought within the offer period are eligible): Windows 7 Home Basic; Windows 7 Home Premium; Windows 7 Professional; or Windows 7 Ultimate. Netbook users who have Windows 7 Starter edition won’t get Windows 8 Pro.

Windows 8 is here. Getty Images

Your PC must also have valid Windows 7 OEM Certificate of Authenticity and product key as well for being eligible.

Hardware Requirements:  This is one check list that you must go through before clicking download as to ensure your PC experience doesn’t slow down.

Processor speed: Make sure you’re computer has 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor

RAM: You will need at least 1 (GB) on a 32-bit system or minimum 2 GB RAM on 64-bit sytsem. 32-bit and 64-bit refer to your processor’s underlying architecture, but unless you have Intel Atom processors (which is used in netbooks), your machine can run the 64-bit version of Windows.

Hard disk space: You will need minimum 16 GB Hard-disk space for a 32-bit system and minimum 20 GB for 64-bit space.

Graphics card: DirectX 9 graphics device compatible with WDDM drive

You will require a screen resolution of least 1024 x 768 pixels to ensure access Apps from Windows App Store. DVDs will require a separate playback software and Windows Media Center license will be sold separately as well although the Windows Media Center is free till Jan 2013. For more details click here.

How to go about the upgrade: You will first need to register for the Microsoft’s upgrade offer here. Once you do that you get a confirmation email and a Promotional Code. This is important when you make the final purchase.

After that you will need to download the Upgrade assistant, which will check app and device compatibility. During check-out remember to keep the Promotional Code with you. If you want to order DVDs for Windows 8 you will need to shell out Rs 1060 extra.

However you will also have the option of creating a media set via USB or DVD when you install. During the installation process you will get three options: “Install now, Install by creating media, or Install later from your desktop”. When you select “Install by creating media”, you can create a USB or DVD installation media.

What will you get when finally upgrade: Before hitting Upgrade, the assistant will ask you if you want to keep all files from your previous system or just personal files or keep nothing. If you choose nothing all your files will be erased and Windows 8 Pro will overwrite all your system files.

If you want to save your previous system files you can choose the first option.

For more details on Windows 8 Upgrade you can click here as well.

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