Windows 7 Upgrade Details For XP And Vista Users

Windows 7 Upgrade Details For XP And Vista Users

If you’re planning to upgrade your current PC to Windows 7 when Microsoft releases their new OS, there’s good and bad news for XP and Vista users. Here’s a closer look at your upgrade options.

Upgrading from XP to Windows 7

Pros: According to tech site Ars Technica, XP users can purchase a cheaper “upgrade” version of Windows 7, despite XP’s version gap. (Normally only users who purchased the latest OS get the cheaper upgrade option.)

Cons: Windows XP users will have no direct upgrade path. That means that in order to upgrade to Windows 7, you’ll have to do a fresh installation of Windows 7 and manually migrate your files and apps to Win7—so you’ll want to make sure to back up XP before upgrading or just dual boot XP and Windows 7.

Upgrading from Vista to Windows 7

Pros: Unlike XP, Vista users do get a direct upgrade path to Windows 7, so your files and apps should migrate to Win7 without any problems. (You should always backup before upgrading to be safe, and just to hedge your bets, you may also still want to dual boot Vista and Windows 7 rather than installing Windows 7 over Vista.) Vista users will also get the cheaper upgrade price.

Cons: It probably won’t affect most users, but the Vista-to-Windows-7 upgrade paths are actually limited by version in the following ways:

  • Windows Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Business to Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Ultimate

If you don’t follow one of those three upgrade paths, you’ll have to perform a fresh install.

Be sure to check the Ars post for a more detailed rundown of the differences, including a discussion of the fate of your Windows Vista Ultimate Extras.


  • Hmm. Sucks if you use XP still.

    However, could you not upgrade and transfer your files like this:
    XP -> Vista Ultimate -> 7 Ultimate?

    As I just read the story about how Buying Vista Mid-Year Could mean A Free Windows 7 Upgrade.

    So basically, an XP user looking to upgrade and transfer their files to Windows 7, while basically skipping Vista, just buy Vista Ultimate upgrade, then, once Windows 7 is released, MS will just give them a 7 Ultimate disc, and they can then upgrade again?

    Thus, you upgrade from XP to Windows 7 Ultimate, while keeping all your files, for the price of a Vista Ultimate upgrade?

    Sounds like the plan I’ll go with. Unless someone can point out how that would fail, and I would be left running Vista for a few months. Once my Win-7 Beta fails in August anyway. Is there any word yet on what will happen to Beta users that want to transfer their files across?

    Wow. I just got the “Text entered was wrong, try again” error for the third time in a row. I now see that stupid Captcha box.

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