Anyone with experience installing Windows 7 will feel right at home in the Windows 8 installer. The first component of the process is almost identical to Windows 7, in fact. It's just a lot more...purple.
Even Aero-style window decorations remain (even though Windows 8 itself is devoid of Vista and 7's glass-like interface).
After the reboot, however, all traces of Windows 7 disappear. It's all Windows 8 from here on out.
The first step in the Windows 8 setup process is choosing a color scheme and giving your system a name.
Next, you need to choose between Express or Custom settings. In a nutshell, the Express option turns on automatic updates (both important and recommended), enables the SmartScreen Filter for Windows and IE10 (to prevent phishing attempts), engages Do Not Track in IE10, allows anonymous statistic reporting to Microsoft, checks online for solutions to issues, switches on network sharing, and permits applications to use your name, account picture, and location services.
If you choose to customize the settings, you can toggle any of the Express presets on or off, with even finer granularity in some categories.
Next, you're asked to sign in. Windows 8 requires you to log on to (or create) a Microsoft account in order to utilize the cloud/sync features of its new operating system. The account is also needed for downloading apps from the Windows Store. Any Microsoft account will work, including Hotmail, Outlook, Live, and so on. If you'd rather avoid those features, you can also create a traditional local user account.
Finally, there's a little animation that provides a mini-tutorial on using Windows 8, followed by a constantly-changing background of colors that lasts through the last few minutes of the installation process.
If only that little tutorial really explained everything you need to know...
- Meet Microsoft Windows 8
- System Requirements, Upgrade Paths, SKUs, And Pricing
- Test Systems And Software
- Installing And Setting Up Windows 8
- Windows 8 UI Basics
- Windows 8 Start Screen
- Charms Bar
- App And Navigation Bars
- Gestures, Text Selection, And Copy/Paste
- Two Keyboards: One Virtual, One Physical
- Apps: Essentials And Ecosystem
- Apps: Productivity
- Apps: News And Search
- Windows 8 PC Settings
- The Windows 8 Desktop And Task Manager
- Desktop Control Panel
- World's Collide: Windows 8 UI + Desktop
- Tom's Tips To Mitigate Windows 8 UI
- Windows 8: Mistake Or Misunderstood?