Upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7
For users of Windows Vista, the upgrade situation is both simpler and yet somehow more complex, as well.
Microsoft provides Vista users with the option to perform an in-place upgrade, but it is limited to like-for-like editions. For example, you won’t be able to do an in-place upgrade from Windows Vista Home Basic to Windows 7 Ultimate. The only upgrade routes are as follows:
- Windows Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Home Premium
- Windows Vista Business to Windows 7 Professional
- Windows Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Ultimate
Users running Windows Vista Home Basic are out of luck. The only in-place upgrade path is to Windows 7 Home Basic, and that release is being made available in emerging markets only – meaning it won’t be offered in developed countries such as the UK and the US.
Furthermore, the same applies to 32-bit and 64-bit variants of the software. An in-place upgrade from a 32-bit version of Windows Vista can only be carried out with a 32-bit version of Windows 7. The only way to move from 32-bit to 64-bit is with a clean install.
Speaking of clean installs, the same restrictions apply to Windows Vista as they do to Windows XP. Users making use of a Windows 7 Upgrade edition will be required to have a qualifying Windows operating system installed and activated. And yes, that means you’ll need to install and activate a genuine copy of Windows Vista prior to each fresh install of Windows 7 - unless, of course, you purchased a full edition.
The plot’s already thick enough, but what if you’re not using Windows XP, Windows 2000 or Windows Vista? What if you’re using something newer – say, the Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC)?
Upgrading from Windows 7 RC to Windows 7
Surprisingly, users of Windows 7 RC are eligible to purchase an upgrade edition of Windows 7. However, like Windows XP users, it won’t be possible to perform an in-place upgrade. You’ll need to do a clean install, and you’ll need to have the RC activated before hand.
Who’d have thought upgrading to a new operating system could be so complex?