According to Microsoft an upgrade from Windows 7, Vista or XP to Windows 8 will be possible for not so tech savvy people.
While a few tech savvy users prefer upgrading their existing systems, most users choose to continue with the preinstalled operating system on a new PC till the end of its shelf life. Microsoft has now released a statement detailing their objective of making upgrading the operating system accessible and easy for as many people as possible.
Windows 7, Vista, XP users too can adopt Windows 8
Despite millions of Windows users choosing to upgrade their present PCs, most users choose to continue with the same operating system that came preinstalled on their PC. It often has often had more to do with the increasing system requirements with the new Windows releases and the necessity to purchase PCs with more ability to run the new versions, than lack of the will to upgrade.
450 million Windows customers can simply upgrade
Launching of Windows 7 has however made Microsoft commit to getting all of its subsequent releases work on existing PCs by keeping low system requirements and maintaining compatibility. They have also extended that commitment with Windows 8 so that a simple upgrading of existing systems would be all that is required. Currently, over 450 million Windows 7 customers will be able to adapt Windows 8, besides taking the Windows Vista and Windows XP users who would also be eligible to use Windows 8.
Testing all plausible upgrade languages, paths, architectures, editions and service packs in support of the PCs running on different Windows versions is quite a big challenge. Microsoft stated that coming to think of it, designing an OS that had not existed when the hardware was created is demanding in itself, considering how fast hardware innovation moves and because technology even as recent as two years old is sufficiently outdated at present and requires a lot of effort to provide compatibility for.
Complexities regarding compatibility and upgrades
Hardware support is said to always involve a few complexities. At times, PCs are enabled with peripherals which require updated drivers, and other times, a specific model or configuration of the PC is not supported on new versions of Windows due to incompatible hardware. Besides, complexities arise in getting software to work consistently after upgrade, especially low level essential utilities such as defragmentation, disk format, anti-virus, and visualization, because new and updated drivers are required which may not always be easily available.
While Microsoft has a massive ecosystem and test effort, the ultimate say on support of new versions of Windows for PC, software packages, or peripherals is determined demand for the product. Microsoft says that it is committed maintaining a unified ecosystem and providing the best it has to offer to as many customers as possible. As an example, Microsoft showed their team running Excel version 3.0 on Windows 8, which is a 16-bit version of Excel from 1990.