Microsoft is getting closer to the Windows 8 finish line and is finalizing details like its upgrade paths from older Windows releases to the coming version.
Microsoft has shared with select partners some specifics about what those upgrading to Windows 8 can expect when moving from Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.
According to what my contacts have told me, here's the guidance released to them privately by Microsoft this month.
What won't work: Users won't be able to upgrade or keep their Windows settings, files, or applications if doing a cross-language installation. (However, users will be able to keep personal files/data during a cross-language install by using Windows 8 Setup.) Microsoft also is not allowing users interested in doing a cross-architecture -- i.e., 32-bit to 64-bit -- install to do so. Whether running Vista or Windows 7, these users won't be able to keep their existing Windows settings, personal files, and applications or data. They won't be allowed to upgrade this way, period.
Microsoft launched earlier this month its latest Windows Upgrade Offer, by way of which users who purchase Windows 7 PCs between June 2, 2012, and January 31, 2013, can purchase a copy of Windows 8 Pro for $14.99, once it's available.
Windows 8 is expected by many Microsoft watchers to be released to manufacturing next month. General availability on new PCs is expected this fall.
This story originally appeared at ZDNet's All About Microsoft.