Saturday, August 8, 2009

Windows 7 Upgrade Chart

Microsoft has released an official Windows 7 Upgrade chart that explains the upgrade paths from both Windows XP and Windows Vista to Windows 7. The chart basically tells users if they need to do a clean install of the operating system or can upgrade the operating system directly. Ed Bott already mentioned that the chart is way to confusing for the average user and that it does contain at least one product that does not exist at all. Most of the information displayed in the chart are redundant.

Microsoft probably tried to be thorough by including 32-bit and 64-bit editions in separate rows. It would however been much easier to read by combining these two rows in one as the upgrade paths are the same for both the 32-bit and 64-bit editions. That with the removal of the non-existent Vista Starter 64-bit edition would turn the chart in a readable easy to grasp format.

To sum it up. Windows XP and Windows Vista Starter users need to do a clean Windows 7 install. Windows Vista Home Basic and Home Premium users can upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium or Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows Vista Business users can upgrade to Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate and Windows Vista Ultimate users can upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate. Every other combination can only be achieved with a clean install.

It is interesting to note that it is not possible to upgrade from Windows Vista Home editions to Windows 7 Professional directly. There is however another way to tackle the problem than to perform a clean Windows 7 Professional installation. Users could upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium and use the Anytime Upgrade option to upgrade Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional. This at least would save them the hassle of having to install the system from ground up.

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