Windows 8 can now be installed from the web, no longer requires physical media


For those who don’t care for a nicely designed Windows 8 box-art and DVD, you now have the option to install the operating system via a web installer. Pretty neat feature that brings Windows 8’s installation experience up-to-par with many of the alternative operating systems out there.

Back in July, we wrote an opinion piece on why Microsoft should consider implimenting a web installer in Windows 8, to offer a more streamlined approach in installing Windows 8. Considering that most consumers don’t really care for a nicely boxed package containing a Windows 8 DVD, Microsoft could offer the Windows 8 executable from an App Store that validates the install location, key, and streams the setup files directly from a web service. In fact, the web installer should also allow users to save the downloaded files for offline installation, or creating their own install media. At least, that’s what we thought Microsoft should do.

It looks like Microsoft either paid attention to our idea or we are simply thinking along the same lines as the software giant. Microsoft announced today via the Building Windows 8 blog that Windows 8 will now have a web installer. “While we will continue to offer boxed DVDs, we are also making it easier than ever to purchase and install online. This includes starting the setup experience online as well, and having one continuous integrated experience from beginning to end,” Microsoft stated in the blog. On top of that, the new web installer will actually “pre-key” the setup image, so once it is downloaded by a user, that user will not have to enter a product key when installing Windows 8.

Our justification for this idea was simple. A web installer offers more control to the user and an easier and cheaper distribution method. On top of that, the user does not have to worry about their Windows 8 DVD having scratches or not working properly. Linux and Apple both offer web based installers for their operating systems, so it only makes sense that Microsoft jumped on board the bandwagon.