Windows 8 upgrades will supposedly be super fast

Posted by Mark Raby

If you're hesitant to upgrade your Windows computers because it's such a time-consuming hassle, Microsoft is speaking to you.

The company is promising that the upgrade process to Windows 8 will be much more expedient than it was to take the plunge to Windows 7.

Microsoft's Christa St. Pierre acknowledged in an official Windows blog that some users who went from Vista to Windows 7 were stuck for as long as 20 hours while they waited for all their files and applications to be backed up and transferred.

"If you had a large number of files on your system, you may have seen that installation times in Windows 7 didn't scale very well," St. Pierre admitted.

That won't be an issue for Windows 8, as the process will take as little as 10% of the time it took to upgrade to Windows 7.

But even if you don't want to transfer any files at all, Windows 8 still speeds up the process. To wipe your hard drive and perform a clean install of the new OS will only take 21 minutes, compared to 32 minutes for Windows 7.

St. Pierre also confirmed that in addition to Windows 7 and Windows Vista, some Windows XP machines will actually be eligible to leapfrog all the way to Windows 8.

There should be a lot of users who make the jump, considering Windows 8 will arguably bring more changes to the operating system than any other iteration.

All the changes revolve around what Microsoft is calling the "Metro UI," which allows users to have complete customization on their home page, including widgets, RSS readers, weather information, date/time, etc.

Metro UI will also have deep multitasking chops, giving users the ability to easily toggle back and forth between different apps and websites. The prototype unit shown at BUILD looks similar to an iPad, with virtually no buttons on the device itself. Microsoft wants touch input to be the main control mechanism, but in a way that's new and different - not just tapping, but swiping and gesturing.