Windows 8 update woes (32-bit OS to 64-bit Win 8 Pro)

I recently took advantage of the $40 Windows pro update offer but in the process got more than I bargained for.

I had a old desktop PC with Windows XP, Core 2 Duo and 4GB RAM. It was running the regular (non 64-bit) version of XP and as such, could not address all the RAM.

I thought it was a good candidate for the Windows 8 upgrade, so went to the site, downloaded the upgrade assistant, put in my credit card details and followed the procedure. I expected at some point to be asked to either install the 32-bit or 64-bit versions.I followed the onscreen instructions waiting to see this dialog, but the procedure just kept moving forward without user interaction required.

Upon completion of the procedure (Win 8 installed), I was a little bit worried, what if it wasn't the 64-bit version? No - it has to be, I have a 64-bit capable CPU, 4GB RAM, and it didn't ask me, so it had to have had my best interests at heart and installed the version that would take advantage of my CPU, my RAM, and allow for future RAM upgrades right?


The updater took me through the entire process without ever mentioning the architecture choice, and just simply opted to take me to the 32-bit version.

But wasn't this my own fault, shouldn't I have expected the 32-bit version after updating from a 32-bit OS? Well, no, this was an update, and there was no mention of a like-for-like upgrade, and no small print anywhere in the process (I clicked into the small print) that informed me that I was installing the 32-bit edition. If I had been informed before payment that this was a 32-bit only update, I would never have paid my money and wiped my OS.

I also opted not to save anything from XP, a clean slate, not even data files. I didn't want any legacy.

Well, after this happened I contacted Microsoft who informed me that the digital only update does not update 32-bit XP/Vista/7 to 64-bit Windows 8 pro. Really? It would have been nice to have told me that up-front. They pointed me to an obscure FAQ page, where that snippet is buried.

But, surely, I can just download the 64-bit ISO and install it from there with my new product key right?

Wrong, I can only download the 32-bit ISO via the Windows Upgrade Assistant on a 32-bit OS (even though the key is valid for the 64-bit version).

I was told I will have to purchase a DVD to install Windows 8 64-bit, even though my purchased key is valid for both the 32/64-bit versions.

I can still apply for a refund for a while, or I can pay $50 for the update DVD, I can install a pirate copy of 64-bit Windows and download the ISO from there (then use my legitimate key), or I can download an image of the 64-bit update DVD and legally use my product key.

Seriously. Microsoft. Why force me onto torrent sites to download a product I've already paid for?