Can I do a "clean" install? Yes, you can, but not using the Upgrade Assistant.
Instead, here's what you'll want to do to format the hard drive before installing Windows 8 Pro.
Step 1: Use the Upgrade Assistant to qualify the PC and pay the $40. Step 2: When the "Install Windows 8" message appears, select "Install by creating media" to create a bootable USB flash drive or an .iso (a disk image) file. Step 3: Wait for the Assistant to download the Windows 8 Pro installation package and create the bootable media or .iso file. The flash drive must have 3GB or more of free space available. Step 4: Burn the .iso file, if that's the path you chose, to a blank DVD. Step 5: Use that USB drive or DVD to boot the PC. Step 6: When you get to the screen in Setup that asks, "Which type of installation do you want?' choose "Custom." Step 7: Select a disk partition for the OS in the next screen. At this point, you can create a new partition if there's enough space available, or reformat the drive. Step 8: Continue with the installation of Windows 8 Pro.
I have been using Windows 8 since the first release. I have upgraded when it was required. I have an 8 Core AMD with 16 GB of ram. Beyond that, I can say that I have loved windows 8 in every version. It was refreshing to install something and not see the same thing I have technically seen since 1995. I grew up on Commodores before getting Dos... when we left Dos for Gui we thought it was crazy but great... then windows 95 came out and people weren't very keen on it... it took 3 rounds A, B and C... C being the debatable best version of 95.
98 comes out and everyone speaks as if the world was just so much better... It felt to many as a repackage of the same crap. 2000 comes out and people think YAY a more business look and feel this will be better and it caused hell... Driver failures for years... then we get Vista and it was a moderate change but everyone fussed about it; 7 comes out and is the holy grail of software... go back, despite the look of the tool bar, and snap, it wasn't that much different from 95.
Now we're taking the Dos -> Gui -> Multitask OS (95 forward) -> Transportable OS (where looks and feels are the same for Tablet, PC and Phone)... not the same OS, just look a like. I think it's a brilliant design, and one that will eventually get me off of Android and to a Windows phone... not right this second; I want to give those devices several generations to catch up.
You can use a touch pad device attached to your computer if you feel you want one; you can get the MS keyboard/mouse which gives all the touch features with a keyboard and mouse designed for Windows 8; you can be a hold out while people move forward. It's totally your choice; I on the other hand move forward and will appreciate the effort given. It's always dangerous to step out of the box and try something new. Lastly, this is the 20, 20 80 rule in full effect... Developers apply this rule all the time... 20% of the people will love your work no matter what (Forget about them), 20% of the people will hate your work no matter what (Forget about them), 80% will try your work and decide for themselves... this is your client base, this is where your effort needs to be placed... they decide your income.
I could not comment on the "perpetual " phrase. I also do not understand Drew's meaning. But, I do support the first sentence. Apart for the fact that, if a user requires it, a third party menu must be installed, it is totally , desktop wise, user-friendly and has a moderate performance improvement over Windows 7. If that is the direction a new user wishes, there is absolutely no need to have a touchscreen. Unless, naturally, you install one of the (few) programs which are specifically designed for that.
Yes, thanks, David, for seconding that. There is definitely no need for Touch. Granted Touch is what it is & can do certain things but, there is no loss on non-Touch. BTW, a finger pad on a laptop can be used like touching the screen on a non-Touch screen laptop. Swiping the touchpad will be as if swiping the screen. But, I digress. And, yes, as STG mentioned there's the Windows 8 K/M that does touch actions... that might be kinda cool... I honestly can't feel like sitting @ a desk & reaching to touch the monitor, while I type or mess w/ papers or whatever. So, on a desktop would use a Touch screen but, that Keyboard-Mouse would be best of everything. But, still, it's great w/ regular mouse/keyboard & non-Touch screen, too
Never mind the license bit. Thinking bout too many things, people & posts @ once. Something was said about giving up a license and I thought of something under discussion yesterday so never mind that one.
I've run Win8 for 8 months on a non-Touch, desktop PC & it's a joy to navigate!! Fast, quick, easy & convenient. Everything direct, handy & few clicks.
By the way, 'STG', what you wrote was very sound & very well said. My compliments, some good points nicely expressed.