Tech Tip: Understanding Windows 7 upgrade paths

By on September 2, 2009, 5:38 AM
Windows 7 has already earned itself a blue ribbon, and it isn't even in stores yet. Many Vista users will migrate to Redmond's latest and greatest operating system in search of greener pastures, and countless Windows XP laggards will be lured from the woodwork by Windows 7's polish.

Microsoft will be granting both XP and Vista users the right to buy "Upgrade" versions of Windows 7 which run for considerably less money. But in terms of how you can perform an upgrade on a machine already running Windows, for some the in-place upgrade option will make the experience seamless; all your programs, files and settings will remain untouched coming from certain versions of Vista. However, for another significant portion of users, installing from scratch will be the only route available (and a recommended one at that).


Microsoft has released a chart to help users figure out what upgrade paths are open to them. Unfortunately, the chart is so cluttered and dysfunctional that it makes the whole process seem much more complicated than it really is. In an attempt to smooth things out for our readers, we've created a condensed, easy-to-digest reference with all of the potential upgrade paths.

Continue reading our Tech Tip of the Week.




User Comments: 12

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Guest said:

Sorry if this is a stupd question - but if i'm already running windows 7 RC is it also an easy upgrade?

Thanks.

windmill007 said:

I don't know about easy but there is a way

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/3075/how-to-upgrade-the-windo
s-7-rc-to-rtm/

Thats what I will be doing. I have my RC running super smooth. I don't want to have to start over again.

Eddie_42 Eddie_42 said:

what are the upgrade prices for XP users? You say they can upgrade to any version, but skipped the cost portion.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

With a brand new OS I'd recommend a fresh install regardless. You should do that once a year anyway just to get rid of all the junk files that get parked on your hard drive.

Staff
Jos Jos said:

what are the upgrade prices for XP users? You say they can upgrade to any version, but skipped the cost portion.

Upgrade media and licenses are the the same for Vista and XP users... So that's $120 for Windows 7 Home Premium, $200 for Windows 7 Professional and $220 for the Ultimate edition.

BrownPaper said:

Microsoft's stance is that you should do a fresh install of Windows 7 RTM, not upgrade over the RC.

maestromasada said:

TomSEA said:

With a brand new OS I'd recommend a fresh install regardless. You should do that once a year anyway just to get rid of all the junk files that get parked on your hard drive.

100% agreed, I do that every three months.

isamuelson isamuelson said:

TomSEA said:

With a brand new OS I'd recommend a fresh install regardless. You should do that once a year anyway just to get rid of all the junk files that get parked on your hard drive.

I agree. What I've done is once I've gotten a fresh install with latest patches to OS, Office, anti-virus and all other necessary utility apps sans user accounts, I use DriveImageXml to backup the install image to DVD so that all I have to do is restore the image. Any new patches can then be downloaded from that point forward with little to no fuss.

When it's time to do a clean install, I backup the user account data first and then use DriveImageXml to reinstall the image from a boot DVD. Then, once that's done and I've applied all patches since the image creation, I transfer the user account stuff back in.

windmill007 said:

If you know how to clean up your os it can run for years super fast. Microsoft recommends many things but not always the best option for the customers. I know I will be upgrading my RC to Final when I'm ready and from reading others comments they have no issues. Why? Because I have my RC at work and all setup working great. Why start over when I don't have to?

JessicaD said:

Eddie_42,

If you are planning on purchasing Windows 7 when it is released it may be helpful to know you don't have to wait until October to reserve your copy of Win 7! You can pre-order your copy of Windows 7 Home Premium or Windows 7 Professional today. For more information, see the Windows 7 Pre-Order offer page here: wwwdotmicrosoftdotcom/Windows/buy/offers/pre-order-endeddota
px (Replace the "dot" with a period "."

Jessica

Microsoft Windows Client Team

IanDSamson said:

Even if the upgrade is available through a download, I would prefer the upgrade DVD because of available bandwidth and slowness of my ADSL. Imagine downloading gigabytes of data and having it corrupted en-route! It's more secure to wait for the release date and purchase the DVD.

IanDSamson said:

Jessica, is Microsoft still offering the 3-license for 1 purchase? In other words, I will be purchasing WIndows 7 Ultimate 64-bit to replace my Vista Ultimate 64 that I have had for slightly less than one year, and upgrading my two HP Compaq 6720s laptops' RAM to 4GB each to accommodate the RAM requirements. I am sure the processors are already 64-bit as most new machines' processors are already 64-bit even though they run 32-bit software. I need to confirm this, though.

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