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Switch from Windows XP to Windows 8.1

With windows dropping support for XP in a few months, I'd like to beat the rush and switch off Windows XP to Windows 8.1 (or a linux flavor).  I do use the machine for work purposes, and will not be able to continue using Windows XP once the support from Microsoft is dropped.

 

Are there any reasons that Windows 8.1 would not work on my machine?  It's an older model, so I'm not sure how well supported it would be.  I ran the Microsoft upgrade compatibility tool, which indicated there were no problems, provided appropriate drivers were available, and it's the drivers I'm most concerned about.

 

Would I be able to simply upgrade, or would I need to do a fresh install?  

 

Also, would I be able to purchase the Windows 8.1 through Acer or would I have to go to Microsoft?

 

Thanks.

 

[subject line edited to clarify topic]

 

Dave D.

 

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