I bought a PC with Windows Vista Home Premium; can I upgrade to Vista Business?

ITS often runs into clients who have purchased "cheap" PCs on their own, only to discover that Windows XP Home and Windows XP Media Center do not play well with Windows Server. In the past, upgrading from XP Home to XP Pro was easy, if not inexpensive; however, Windows Vista is more involved.

As we have discussed before, Microsoft released five editions of its new Windows Vista operating system. Since the features differ with each, the upgrade paths are limited so that no features disappear after upgrading. A PC with Vista Home Basic or Vista Home Premium that needs to connect to a Windows Server networking domain can only be upgraded to Vista Ultimate, the highest level. Unfortunately the Vista Ultimate upgrade also costs about $60 more than the Windows XP Pro upgrade that would have been used to upgrade from XP Home.

Vista Home Basic can also be upgraded to Vista Home Premium, though chances are pretty good that a PC that came with Home Basic preinstalled will not run either Home Premium or Ultimate very well without some hardware upgrades such as additional memory or a faster video card.

It is worth noting that Windows XP PCs can be upgraded to Vista Business or other editions, per our upgrade chart.

August 2007

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