Windows 8 Upgrade Plans Leaks - Win $100,000 in Prize via Windows Metro Style App Developer Contest; Windows Store Quality Reports and How to Use them to Improve Apps

Microsoft just shared with select partners some specifics about its Windows 8 Upgared program -- especially what those who are upgrading to Windows 8 can expect when moving from Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.According to ZDNet's Marry J Folery, who obtained the information from some sources, owners of Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home […]

Microsoft just shared with select partners some specifics about its Windows 8 Upgared program -- especially what those who are upgrading to Windows 8 can expect when moving from Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.

According to ZDNet's Marry J Folery, who obtained the information from some sources, owners of Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic and Windows 7 Home Premium will be able to update to the regular edition of Windows 8 while also keeping their current settings, files and applications.

And, those with Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate, will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro while keeping their current settings, files and applications.

"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.)," sources revealed.

Microsoft is also not allowing users interested in doing a cross-architecture upgrade -- i.e., 32-bit to 64-bit. "Whether running Vista or Windows 7, these users won't be able to keep their existing Windows settings, personal files and applications or data," Microsoft said.

Here is the full Microsoft guidance release earlier this month:

  • "Users will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 (the name of the entry-level consumer version of the operating system) from Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic and Windows 7 Home Premium while maintaining their existing Windows settings, personal files and applications.
  • Users will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro from Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate while maintaining their existing Windows settings, personal files and applications.
  • Users will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Enterprise (available to volume licensees with Software Assurance contracts only) from Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise while maintaining their existing Windows settings, personal files and applications.
  • Users will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 from Windows Vista (without SP1 installed) but only personal files (meaning data only) will be maintained. If upgrading from Vista with SP1, personal data and system settings will be maintained.
  • Users will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 from Windows XP with Service Pack 3 or higher but only personal files/data only will be maintained." [ZDNet]

While, on Windows 8, Microsoft and Qulacomm announced a new "Windows Metro Style App Developer Contest," with the winner of the best overall app getting $100,000 for the trouble.

"Developers: send us your most innovative, creative, and original metro-style apps for the 2012 Windows Metro Style App Developer Contest by Qualcomm. We invite you to dazzle us with how your app on Windows RT creates a compelling and unique experience," reads the annoucement.

In addition to the big prize, Qualcomm will also offer several smaller prizes for Best Connectivity Use ($20,000), Best Gaming App ($20,000) and Best Produtivity App ($20,000).

There's also a $40,000 prize for the best app that uses the AllJoyn peer-to-peer software development framework. However, the Windows 8 Beta SDK for AllJoyn won't be released until sometime in July.

The submission period begins ends on October 1st. You can get complete information here.

In a Windows Store for developers blog, Microsoft's program manager Kalyan Venkatasubramanian describes the Store's Quality reports and how you can use them to improve your apps.

"For the Windows Store, we chose to focus our Quality reports on providing you analytics data based on your app's reliability as experienced by your customers. You access the Quality reports through your app's app summary page. From that page, click the Quality link, which takes you to the Quality reports screen," said Venkatasubramanian.

With these reports, you can:

  1. "Understand the quality of your app over the different versions that were published to the Store. This tells you if customers of your app are having a better experience in successive versions.
  2. Improve the quality of your app. You can improve the quality of your app by knowing about and understanding the top failures (as seen by your customers) in the latest version published to the Store. Understanding the top failures enables you to fix them and publish updates to your app in the Store," Venkatasubramanian said.

"These reports help you measure the quality of your app by tracking the app's failure rate--the number of failures customers experienced. A failure is defined as the unexpected closure of an app due to one of the following reasons:

  1. A crash
  2. An unresponsive app (hang)
  3. An unhandled JavaScript exception," explains Venkatasubramanian.

Windows 8 App Store Quality Report Explained