What's New: No Upgrade Path From XP To Windows 7

Microsoft has confirmed there is no in-place upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7, meaning users with powerful enough PCs would have to jump through several hoops to upgrade. It seems arbitrary but on closer inspection there may be good reasons for this policy. Specifically, a user would have to back up their data, perform a clean install (on a new or reformatted hard drive), reinstall all their programs, and import their old data.

This policy is actually consistent with Windows Vista's release...at that time Microsoft supported upgrading from Windows XP but not Windows 2000. That made sense because most PCs running Windows 2000 were old and slow enough that they would not be able to run Windows XP efficiently, and as a consequence most businesses and consumers simply purchased a new PC that had Windows reinstalled. Similarly, most PCs running Windows Vista will be able to run Windows 7 fine, but PCs more than a couple years old running Windows XP would tend to be too slow. The distinction comes with newer PCs that have had Windows XP preloaded on them instead of Windows Vista...those PCs will not be able to upgrade easily to Windows 7.

Microsoft has repeatedly said that Windows 7 should require less memory and therefore provide better performance than Windows Vista.

Monday, Feb 9, 2009 11:18 am CST

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