In late May, Microsoft confirmed that consumers who buy new PCs with Windows 7 installed will be able to get them upgraded to Windows 8 for a fee of $14.99 from now until the end of January 2013. But what about all those older PCs that have already been purchased? ZDnet.com reports, via unnamed sources, that Microsoft has shared information about that aspect of the Windows 8 upgrade path with some select partners.
According to the story, current owners of PCs with Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic and Windows 7 Home Premium will be able to update to the regular edition of Windows 8 while also keeping their current settings, files and applications. All of those owners, plus people who have Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate, will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro while keeping their current settings, files and applications.
If you are a person who works with a PC in a business that has Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise installed, you can upgrade to Windows 8 Enterprise while also keeping your current settings, files and applications.
If you are one of the few who still has Windows Vista installed on your PC but have not updated it with its first Service Pack, you will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 but can only keep your personal files with the update. If you have Vista with SP1 installed, you can upgrade to Windows 8 and keep both your personal data and your system settings.
Finally, if you are one of the many people who still uses Windows XP, the good news is that you can upgrade to Windows 8. The bad news is that only personal data will be maintained when the upgrade is complete.
ZDNet.com also reports that you won't be able to keep your settings, files and applications if you are attempting a cross-language update from your previous Windows OS to Windows 8. Finally, there won't be any upgrade at all allowed if you have a 32-bit OS and you want to move to a 64-bit version of Windows 8.