The current Windows 8 upgrade offer from Microsoft is incredibly good value for money, especially as you can use the upgrade ISO to do a clean install if you wish. The upgrade costs only £24.99 for anyone who currently has xp, Vista or Windows 7.
However, the upgrade in some cases is far more difficult than it should be. If, say, you have a 32-bit version of windows and want to upgrade to 64-bit then your only option is to download the upgrade on a PC that currently has a 64-bit operating system and then do a clean install on the original PC, using an ISO you burned on the 64-bit machine. Confused? So was I! But it gets even sillier...
If you download the update on an xp machine then you are not given the option of saving it as an ISO to burn later. Why, you might ask? Well, the official reason is that xp doesn't support ISO files! What a ridiculous reason; xp can support burning ISO files by simply downloading any of hundreds of free ISO burning programs (Imgburn is my personal favourite). So, the result of that is that you cannot do a clean install on an xp machine unless you find another machine that has either Vista or Windows 7. And if you want a clean install of 64-bit then that other machine must be 64-bit vista or Windows 7.
Just how many hoops does Microsoft want people to jump through? Hopefully they will address these problems in future upgrade processes.
Despite these hassles, the upgrade to Windows 8 is well worth a punt at £24.99. This is especially true if you have an old xp machine as Microsoft will be ending support for xp in April 2014.
The offer is valid until January 31st 2013 and the upgrade can be purchased from here