Saturday, August 8, 2009

Windows 7 RTM Available To Download On MSDN

Windows 7 RTM is now available on the Technet and MSDN download sites. All versions of Windows 7 are available for download, including Premium, Professional and Ultimate.

Software Assurance subscribers will be able to download Windows 7 RTM from Friday from the Volume Licence Software Centre website. Other large businesses will be able to get access to the final version on 1 September.

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.

Windows 7 Ultimate released to Beta testers on Connect

Microsoft has now released final RTM builds of 32 and 64 bit Windows 7 to technical beta-testers, with them each getting a free copy of Windows 7 Ultimate. This is exclusively for the 5,000 or so technical testers who received invitations onto the program from Microsoft, and not the people who downloaded the public beta.

Later, volume licencees and Software Assurance customers will be able to download it followed by Action Pack subscribers on August 23rd.

This marks a sad day for technical testers and those who downloaded the public beta. We’ll have to wait another two and half years to get something flaky that’ll crash our systems and cause driver errors. What’s more if Windows 8, and I predict that will be its name as 8 is a lucky number in the far east, is anything like Windows 7 in the beta, we won’t even get that luxury. Ho hum.

There are reports of slow downloads from some quarters but that’s only to be expected at this stage. Things will no doubt improve within a couple of days and Microsoft’s servers seem to be holding steady.