Windows 8 was officially released yesterday and now is the time to decide if you want to upgrade or not. If you’ve decided to upgrade your Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 computer to Windows 8, you probably want to make sure your system supports Windows 8 before purchasing an upgrade.
To check if your computer is compatible with Windows 8, you can download and run the Upgrade Assistant to Windows 8. The Upgrade Assistant will scan your hardware, programs, and even all connected devices to make sure they will work with Windows 8.
Windows 8 requires certain CPU features like PAE, NX, SSE2, etc., so it is recommended to use this tool if your computer is a little outdated.
The tool will also provide you with a compatibility report for your programs and tell you if you need to uninstall the program or update it before upgrading. Once downloaded, installed and launched, the program will automatically start scanning your computer for applications and devices.
It will then tell you which apps are compatible and which apps need to be tested.
Windows 8 has some new features like Safe Boot, Snapping, and Fast Startup. The Upgrade Assistant will notify you if any of these items are not supported by your system:
If you didn’t already know, Windows 8 doesn’t have built-in DVD playback software. If you want this feature, you will need to buy the Pro package and get Windows Media Center. Note: If you already have Windows 8 Pro installed, you can get Windows Media Center for free until January 31, 2013, so get it fast!
Additionally, Microsoft Security Essentials is being replaced by Windows Defender in Windows 8. It’s basically the same, but for whatever reason they include Windows Defender built into Windows 8. So if you have Security Essentials installed on Windows 7, you have you will be prompted to uninstall it before updating.
You will also receive a list of compatible software and hardware that will work with Windows 8:
When you click Next, you will be asked what you want to save. This will determine which version of Windows 8 is best for you.
Note that depending on which version of Windows you have, you can only upgrade to specific editions of Windows 8. For example, if you have Windows 7 Ultimate, you can only upgrade to Windows 8 Pro.
If you have Windows 7 Pro, you can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro or Enterprise. If you have Windows 7 Enterprise, you can only upgrade to Windows 8 Enterprise. Read the Wikipedia article to find out more.
In my case, since I have Windows 7 Ultimate, whatever option I chose gave me the same result: Windows 8 Pro for $ 39.99.
That’s all there is to the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant. It is mainly useful for determining which hardware and software will not work in Windows 8. It is also useful if you have an older computer and you are not sure will whether your processor is supported by Windows 8. Enjoy!