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OK, Here's a Windows 8 Upgrade deal...

When I jumped up onto the Lenovo site this morning, I saw that their Support page how features this snazzy new graphical element at its mid-upper right side:

Look what just showed up, the very day that Windows 8 goes GA!

Look what just showed up, the very day that Windows 8 goes GA!

You can tell this is really new stuff, because I found myself on this re-direct page immediately after clicking that graphic:

I had to click "English" to get to a working page, in fact.

I had to click English to get to a working page, in fact.

What I saw next started to spell things out in a more understandable way:

OK, now it all starts making sense...

OK, now it all starts making sense…

But alas, digging into the details, I observed that the Lenovo Support pages were getting hammered, probably by others who were seeking the same information I was. Alas, I also learned only that while both my Lenovo systems — a T520 notebook and an X220 Tablet — could be indeed be upgraded to Windows 8, neither had been purchased recently enough to qualify for the lowball $15 upgrade (the cutoff dates for eligible purchase start on June 2, 2012 and extend through January 31, 2013). That said, Lenovo has been busy getting its system owners ready for upgrade, as shown in this screen cap:

Lots of instructions and how-tos to migrate from 7 to 8 from Lenovo.

Lots of instructions and how-tos to migrate from 7 to 8 from Lenovo.

Visiting the Dell site (I just received an XPS 13 ultrabook from them two months ago, within the “free upgrade” timeframe for Win8) I was immediately directed to the page where I went through the drill for that PC. To my astonishment and delight, the deal went through without a hitch, and I found myself in possession of a completed registration for that upgrade offer. The e-mail came through about five minutes later, and I learned you must access the link to the upgrade on the system you wish to upgrade. I fired off the process, which instructed me to download and run the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant. But alas, the compatibility details let me know I needed to uninstall my wireless connection before attempting to install Windows 8 (which poses an interesting problem unless an offline install is possible on the XPS 13 because it lacks a wired Ethernet port; fortunately, I do have a USB 3.0 GbE Ethernet interface, so I may be able to weasel around this issue using alternate connectivity). I also learned that my trackpad lacks a Windows 8 driver (but I got started on Windows 8 on this machine a few weeks ago and the install program worked with the trackpad, so I’m not overly concerned about this). Looks like I’ll have to set aside some time next week to go through the upgrade process then (I want to make a complete backup, and an image backup before making the OS switch anyway, just to be safe).

We’re off to the Windows 8 races, it seems. And we’re bound to encounter some gotchas along the way if my experience this morning is any indication — and I’m pretty sure it is! Bon voyage to all of us…

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