Microsoft claims Windows 8 install speed improvements

Microsoft claims that the installation process for Windows 8 will not only be far faster than with previous versions of the operating system, but will take as few as 11 clicks from the user to complete.

During the creation of Windows 7, the main focus was on improving the success rate of installs. While this ethos will be carried over to the next generation of OS, this time around Microsoft is focusing on speed.

Much of the time and mouse clicks shaved off the install come from simplifying it and picking several general options automatically. Advanced users will still be able to perform a more traditional installation with more options, but the average user will see a marked reduction in the numbers of clicks they need to make.

PC Pro says that users can choose from a clean install or one that upgrades their current Windows 7 setup, bringing with it all personal settings, files, folders and applications. Windows Vista users however, will not be able to transfer their apps, while XP users can only bring user accounts and files.

Another feature touted by the MSDN blog posting on the matter is the removal of an old file gather phase. This is where certain folders were calculated during the installation period while the older operating system was still running. To avoid this and save extra time, Windows 8 will simply copy over these folders to the 'Windows.old' folder while the system is offline. Once the new OS is up and running, the data is extracted from the folder and settings and applications are restored - if desired by the user.

Another speed-up comes from a change to the upgrade process. If you're upgrading from a current system, instead of moving files individually, Windows 8 will transfer whole folders, drastically reducing the number of file operations.

While the author of the post, Christa St. Pierre, did say that the 11 clicks number was an ideal and not representative of every Windows 8 install, thanks to the many improvements users across the board should see a significant drop in install time for Microsoft's next OS.