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Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System Forum

Deciphering Windows 7 Upgrades: The Official Chart

 1:42 am on Oct 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal has posted an upgrade matrix that shows which combinations of Windows editions will support in-place upgrades.

Deciphering Windows 7 Upgrades: The Official Chart [mossblog.allthingsd.com]

This is an official chart supplied by Microsoft according to the accompanying blog post [mossblog.allthingsd.com].

You need to upgrade to the same version if you want the in place upgrade option. Otherwise you need the Ultimate version.

Another alternative upgrade method I have seen suggested is to perform the in place upgrade to the appropriate version, and then take advantage of the Windows Anytime Upgrade (or WAU). This allows you to upgrade to a higher level of Windows 7 at any time. You would have to pay for this upgrade though.

It may be easier to get the Ultimate version to begin with in many cases.

Despite the convenience that an upgrade offers, I would always recommend a clean install of a new OS. You will save yourself a lot of problems in the long-run.



 2:03 am on Oct 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

I considered doing the upgrade but why?

This is the first time in Windows history that I'm not sure why I need to upgrade.

With XP I knew what all the problems were, primarily plug 'n play issues with USB and outdated drivers, with Vista they all seemed to go away.

Heck, Vista just seems to know what hardware is the minute you plug it into a port, cleanest Windows installation I've ever had.

Now if they can provide an official chart with the reasons to upgrade, I may consider it.

Until then, why risk the solid operation of my current Vista on a rev 0 version of Windows 7?

I'll wait until at least SP1 comes out ;)


 4:06 am on Oct 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Why buy a new tv? new mp3 player? new car? new pc? :)

I'm very happy with windows 7. Windows homegroup makes it easier for my family to work, windows media center is vastly upgraded, the performance, functionality, "Eye candy" et all, all make it much more pleasurable. Not to mention you can leave UAC on, its not annoying, menu, navigations, fast/quick launch are all vastly improved. There is lots of changes and no reason to wait for SP1 unless your simply letting prejudices make your decision rather than experience.

With that said, its probably better financially to just upgrade when you replace your pc. However for my wife's laptop getting windows 7 was like getting a new pc.. better battery life, faster bootup, faster shutdown/restart/hybernate, no requirement of special drivers - all the keyboard, usb,extended keys, media keys - everything just worked out of the box.

just my 2 cents :)


 4:22 am on Oct 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

At first glance I thought the chart was a joke. Then I realized it wasn't. Which made it even more funny.


 6:17 am on Oct 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Why buy a new tv? new mp3 player? new car? new pc?

When the old was insufficient to complete the task or it's just seriously out of date (like IE6) and Vista is neither.

Vista does everything the wife and I need, we're secured, networked and shared just fine, so even the Windows homegroup isn't compelling.

There is lots of changes and no reason to wait for SP1 unless your simply letting prejudices make your decision rather than experience.

Lots of changes, and nothing really compelling.


BWAHAHAHAHAHA, been a big old Windows programming freak possibly before many in the forum were out of diapers or even born, but I digress.

I've been developing Windows on the cutting edge since Windows 286 and I've installed every buggy pre-beta and up from the beginning of Windows until Vista.

However, that was for work, my home machines never needed the bleeding edge Windows version and Windows new releases always have quirks. Therefore, my home machines have always waited for the next service pack before following work machines because I get enough frustration from Windows at work, didn't need it at home as well.

no requirement of special drivers - all the keyboard, usb,extended keys, media keys - everything just worked out of the box.

So far I've had the same exact experience with Vista.

FWIW, I just got off a Windows 7 site and watched a commercial on TV about Win 7 tonight stating major UI upgrades were PIN, SNAP and SHAKE?

What a joke / useless feature / been in windows forever.

Used to have utils that did PIN type things back in Win 3.1, wow.

SNAP used to be the TILE WINDOWS command even in 3.1 and you could do it horizontally or vertically.

SHAKE? If you want to focus on a window double click the title bar, full screen, shake that ;) To unshake double click it again, nothing new to see here, move along.

TOUCH is nice but we had access to touch tablets at Lotus in the '91 timeframe, what took them so long to put the driver in the mainstream OS? Big whoop.

PLAY TO is cute, but you could always name devices on the network and drag files to them, it's just a mildly better and obvious integration, nothing 3rd party apps haven't already done.

Admittedly, the HOMEGROUP networking option makes it much simpler to do those tasks but for those that have already implemented complete shared homegroup networking, it's not worth the upgrade until you find a compelling need that your current configuration can't support.

OK, Windows 7 is faster.

I just upgraded to a Xeon Quad Core, how much more speed do I need?

My CPU usage averages 11% for 99% of the day until I fire up a compiler or something.

When I see the CPU usage significantly above 11%, then an upgrade might be worthwhile.

So I'll probably sit still and wait for Windows 7 SP1 and then consider upgrading.



 11:46 am on Oct 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

The fact that Microsoft calls in an 'upgrade' is funny.

There is no way to 'upgrade' from Windows XP or prior versions to Win 7.

You must uninstall Windows XP and do a complete fresh install, and reinstall every program you had on your computer.

The average end user is not going to do this or want to do this.


 2:11 pm on Oct 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

The mere fact you need a chart is sign of trouble.

Interesting is that there are even paths of Vista to 7 that are blocked for some reason. Weird.

Also the US price of $29 for an upgrade seems to be fully missing in Europe

Street prices here are:
upgrade - home: 119,90 EUR
full - home: 199,90 EUR
upgrade - premium: 299,00 EUR
full = premium: 319,00 EUR

Esp. the premium is quite expensive: your old vista license is worth 20 EUR ...

This pricing is not of the kind to tempt people to upgrade.


 7:44 pm on Oct 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is worth a look:
David Pogue Answers Reader Questions on Windows 7

I don't agree with Pogue on some points, but this is solid advice:
Waiting is always a good idea, if you can stand it. Not only will patches and bug fixes emerge from Microsoft, but drivers and compatibility fixes for all your programs and gadgets will arrive, too.

Still--if it's doing the job for you, and the new Windows 7 features don't appeal to you, then it's perfectly OK to stick with XP.

There has to be a REASON to upgrade. What is your reason?


 12:01 am on Oct 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm with incrediBILL on this one...

I run a dual core Athlon that was very quick three years ago. Now it's considered a slow poke. But I'm not rushing out to upgrade because my computer is still pretty fast. I usually upgrade when I can be sure my next PC build will be twice as fast as my old PC - that's about every four years or so.

So next year I'll build a Core i7 machine with a SSD and that thing will have near instantaneous response time. Where do we go from here? (I can't wait to see...). :)


 12:56 am on Oct 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Microsoft has a guide that walks you through the steps to upgrade.

Upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7 [windows.microsoft.com]


 1:06 am on Oct 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Just a quick aside, it hadn't sunk in until yesterday that Windows is pretty much the last standing non-Linux operating system now that Apple also uses Linux.

Is MS Windows 7 the victor or the next path to Windows extinction?

At any rate, MS should consider porting Office to Linux if they want to survive as a company in general as more of the world adopts Linux, including me ;)


 2:53 am on Oct 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Much as I like Vista (and I do, it's rock-solid and much more usable than XP), it's a dead-end, destined to be buried and forgotten by MS. Everything is going to be written for and aimed at 7 now, and as RAM on even basic machines exceeds 3Gb these days, 32-bit XP is no longer an option so its market share will fade as old machines are replaced.

7 is really just rebranded Vista, nothing more than a toolbar tweak and a few new logos, I'm betting it's already as stable as Vista. It's really just another service pack - I'm upgrading in the near future.


 5:46 am on Oct 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Just a quick aside, it hadn't sunk in until yesterday that Windows is pretty much the last standing non-Linux operating system now that Apple also uses Linux.

Apple is based on FreeBSD and NetBSD which is an implementation of UNIX. Linux is also an implementation of Unix. But they have different goals and philosophies.

I bought my laptop with Vista Sp1 on it and tweaked as much as possible, after installing Windows 7 with no tweaking on separate partition with the exact programs installed I can not go back to Vista. Vista boot slower and it feels slugish to use compared to Windows 7.

I have been happy with Vista but in my opinion Windows 7 is a much better user experience.

Even Linus Trovalds the creator of linux gives windows 7 the thumbs up ;) [blogs.zdnet.com...]


 6:35 am on Oct 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Apple is based on FreeBSD and NetBSD which is an implementation of UNIX. Linux is also an implementation of Unix. But they have different goals and philosophies.

Yes, but they are still very similar. FreeBSD can even run most Linux binaries. BSD and Linux use a lot of common components. Debian can run on either Linux or FreeBSD kernels. MacOS has a lot of open source bits, most of which also work with (and are often commonly shipped with) both BSD and Linux: [opensource.apple.com ].

Even Linus Trovalds the creator of linux gives windows 7 the thumbs up ;)

Ha,ha, but that does not actually tell us what he thinks of Windows 7.


 2:05 pm on Oct 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Apple OS X is under the graphical hood and above the mach kernel a FreeBSD derivative. FreeBSD is based on the unencumbered BSD 4.4 (just like it's siblings NetBSD and OpenBSD).All of those are heirs of BSD unix dating back to the very beginning of unix. All of these BSD heirs are released under a "BSD" style license that allows nearly everything (except claiming you made it) and don't force anythign on the one changing, selling or distributing it.

Linux is made from scratch to resemble unix. It's license is far more restrictive in that it uses a GPL copyleft.

Licensing alone would prohibit most commercial use of Linux in OSes.

Anyway Microsoft offers Office for Mac OS X.


 2:34 pm on Oct 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

actually that chart looks pretty simple.

the only people getting burned are the windows XP guys, and they probably could stand a format and reload.


 4:04 pm on Oct 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

the only people getting burned are the windows XP guys, and they probably could stand a format and reload.

For what purpose?

What does Win 7 offer a business user that XP Pro does not?

Just upgrading for the sake of upgrading without a clear advantage is a waste of money in these lean times and in staff productivity.

If is because you want to be 'cool' and say you have Win 7 (rebranded Vista) thats fine. But from a reality perspective for corporations, what's Win 7 offering us that we already don't have?

creative craig

 4:26 pm on Oct 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

I bought a new laptop recently (6 months ago) and had them install XP, I am more than happy and have no intention of updating/upgrading.


 7:02 pm on Oct 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Probably like most web developers I use linux for my main work machine for its constant stability / apache php etc.. But I also have a windows PC next to it for programs that I have and appreciate greatly also I need to test my sites in IE on the Win Platform for browser compatibility...

So I use both systems all the time!

I tried vista 32 and 64 and now I use XP64 pro this I find to be the best, I can not see in a million years the use of buying Win7 A store owner told me that there already have been a lot of patch updates..!Every time its the same story the next version will be the good one So when Is Windows 8 coming out :-)


 8:03 pm on Oct 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Oh boy If we can't even convince the webmasters on XP to upgrade, how are we going to get the users out there to upgrade (and get rid of the legacy IE versions!)

Doesn't look well on the odds of getting rid of IE6 and IE7.


 4:06 am on Oct 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

No upgrade for me. I run a dual boot Linux/XP laptop. Linux is my primary. XP works just fine for the 1-2 times a quarter I wander back into windows to do my accounting software. Once that goes web based, I can leave windows for good.


 5:44 am on Oct 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yes, I realize that all of you poor Linux users are disappointed that MS didn't provide a direct upgrade path to Windows 7 for you either. Like Windows XP users you'll be best off performing a clean install. ;)

If you'd like to discuss the benefits of Linux over Microsoft feel free to start another thread. This one's about upgrade paths from older versions of Windows.


 6:00 am on Oct 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

I was on the tech beta for Vista for 2 years and despite getting 3 RTM copies given to me (and a plaque from Jim Allchin), I didn't migrate my main PC. I was also on the Win7 tech beta and got my free RTM. However, I did migrate my main PC from XP Pro finally. Since I don't usually need to pay for my software (freelance journo), the geek in me likes Win 7. There are lots of little improvements that each seem trivial to mention, but ones I like the most are the quick startup/shutdown. Main gripe is a lot of disk activity, but my 1 TB C drive has been rated a 3.8 so I have to look into it.


 2:21 pm on Oct 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

I left XP right when vista came out and never any any of these "problems" everyone seems to talk about. Everyone always gives me this stupid look when I say i've never had an issue with vista. Even had some users up in arms when i was replacing their desktops with vista and not XP...ask them why vista sucks? "oh my friends say it sucks and its not good and stuff" always the same this and that kind of answer and the same users that said it sucked have been doing their work on it everyday with no problems.

I've ran all the beta copies for 7 and its great! you can tell the improvments RIGHT away.

all these XP non upgrading people...IDK they are probably only running XP because when they bought their new computer it didn't come with windows 98.

no windows 7 isn't just windows xp with another name its new improvements and features vs XP are too long to list.. go look it up.


 4:47 pm on Oct 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

Oh boy If we can't even convince the webmasters on XP to upgrade

They have no clue how much different it is from XP to Vista/Win 7.

I had to jump through hoops to get my Zen MP3 player working properly on XP, and the Zen software installation conflicted with Yahoo Music (when it was still around) and my entire sound system melted on XP. Took me an hour or more to figure out which drivers got whacked, a real good XP experience.

Same Zen MP3 player, I simply plugged it in on Vista, it knew 1st time, done.

Plugging in my new HTC Hero Android phone the first time was the same experience, easy as pie.

Not that XP was bad with plug 'n play on USB ports, but there were always issues and Vista clearly blows it away.

Amazing how much better an OS can get with 8 years of experience and updates.

I'll make a caveat to my earlier post that if I were buying a new machine today, I'd get Win 7 for sure just to avoid a future upgrade. Since I just bought this Vista box a few months ago, I don't feel the need to suffer through another upgrade until maybe Win 7 SP 1.

FYI, I still have an old PC running XP and an old laptop running Win 2K, they will never get upgraded unless you consider being disposed an upgrade ;)


 7:10 pm on Oct 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've got a Windows XP desktop computer that does everything I need it to do--for now. One of these days I'll buy a new PC with Windows 7 (probably when I buy my next notebook in a few months). But why would I want to go through the hassle of upgrading my four- or five-year-old desktop PC to an operating system that may or may not support all of my legacy hardware?

An operating system is supposed to be a tool, not a fashion statement. The readers whose page views generate most of my income don't care if I'm writing and creating Web pages with a computer that's running Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Linux, or Snow Leopard.


 2:44 am on Oct 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

A few of the barriers to my not using Vista (despite owning three free copies of Vista Ultimate) have gone away. For example I had two solid printers that were not ready to die but were not supported under Vista. My webcam was not supported.

I have since replaced my printers for other reasons (all-in-one needed) and got a new webcam. Also changed my PC. A problem during the Win7 beta has partially gone away in the RTM. If the motherboard is not recognised, you have to load the original LAN/audio/video drivers. In the RTM, the LAN and video drivers were installed but not the audio one. This made it wasy to activate the OS immediately.

The Windows Easy Transfer (WET) tool was much better than I expected. It picked up not just the app settings, but even browser history, stored passwords, etc. One of the least painful upgrades I can remember.


 10:35 pm on Oct 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

If you have an "incompatible" upgrade version of Win 7, there is a solution, and it's absurdly easy:

Run regedit, change:

hklm\software\microsoft\windows nt\currentversion\EditionID = Ultimate
hklm\software\microsoft\windows nt\currentversion\productname= Windows Vista Ultimate

To whatever version of Vista you "have" to be running in order to upgrade.

So if, for instance, you have an upgrade copy of Windows 7 Professional, you would change it to:

hklm\software\microsoft\windows nt\currentversion\EditionID = Business
hklm\software\microsoft\windows nt\currentversion\productname= Windows Vista Business

Using this tweak I was able to upgrade with no problems, which is good because when I ordered the pre-order there was absolutely nothing on the site warning that certain versions of Vista could only upgrade to certain versions of 7.

The above probably violates the user agreement in some way, but selling people unusable pre-orders violates common sense :-)


 6:05 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've got 3 network printers at my office that scream, "Vista sucks!". OS/X has greatly simplified my life. It will be a long time before I trust MS again.


 5:53 pm on Oct 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

^ model numbers please. ;)

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