Friday, June 26, 2009

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Windows 7 Does Not Support Upgrading From Windows XP | Clean Install Will Be Better Than Upgrading

Microsoft confirms that there will be no "in-place upgrade" option for XP users. It means that, for Windows XP users who avoided Vista because of its many problems, that upgrade work may seem as making it harder for them to finally adopt a new version of Windows.
When Windows 7 is released later this year, many PC users who upgrade will be coming from Windows XP. Unlike Vista users, they can't do an "in-place upgrade," in which the new OS overwrites the old one, preserving their installed applications, preferences, and data. 

Instead, they'll have to do a clean install, which means they have to back up their data, install Windows 7 (either deleting or XP or installing as a separate environment), reinstall their applications, restore their data, and re-create their preferences.

But there may be good reason not to support an in-place upgrade,  That's because viruses, registry errors, and other performance-sapping flaws in the user's Windows environment would be carried over into Windows 7; something that would not happen with a clean install. Read more on how to choose between clean install and upgrading. [Choosing Between Clean Install And Upgrading In Windows Vista]
Consumers and small businesses are the ones who tend to prefer the in-place upgrade option, and they're the ones who may be annoyed by the clean-install requirement if coming from XP. 
Should Microsoft Support Upgrade From Windows XP?
Microsoft is in a bit of a no-win situation here: Support the upgrade and live with whatever bad experiences users have or don't support the upgrade and make it harder for people to do it.
Clean Install Will Be Better Than In-Place Upgrading:
Most users will be better off doing the clean install anyway, so personally, I recommend that even Vista users should avoid the in-place upgrade and proceed to the clean install.

Also, users who did not upgrade to Vista often have hardware that can't run Windows 7 or Vista (typically, PCs from 2006 or earlier), so they would likely get a new computer at the same time with Windows 7 preinstalled, which means reinstalling their apps, preferences, and data anyhow. Also read, Free Upgrade To Windows 7 For PCs Pre Installed With Windows Vista.

A Precedent For Providing In-Place Upgrades For Earlier Generations
When Microsoft shipped Windows Vista, it offered XP users the choice of an in-place upgrade or a clean install, but users of earlier Windows versions could do only a clean install. So the requirement for Windows XP and earlier users to do a clean install of Windows 7 follows that precedent.

But if still go back, when Microsoft shipped Windows XP in late 2001, it gave not only users of the predecessor Windows 2000 but also users of the earlier generations (Windows 98, Windows Millennium, and Windows 98 Second Edition) the in-place upgrade option. 
In some ways, the situation then was similar to that situation today. Microsoft Millennium was a technical failure that customers avoided, causing Microsoft to issue Windows 98 SE. Then came Windows 2000, replacing the OS kernel and much of the architecture, which meant it needed newer hardware and was incompatible with many peripherals and applications. So most users stuck with Windows 98 or 98 SE, and Microsoft eased the path to XP by allowing in-place upgrades for them all.
Technically, the shift from Windows Vista to Windows 7 is small, so it should be easier to support an in-place upgrade from XP to Windows 7 than it was from Windows 98 to Windows XP. But the performance and security issues that an in-place upgrade preserves as a reason that Microsoft may have chosen not to do so this time.

Microsoft's situation contrasts with that of Apple, which lets users do an in-place upgrade three versions back (from Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar, 10.3 Panther, and 10.4 Tiger) to the current Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. 
This is an area -- efficiency, ease, and success of upgrade -- where Apple has an edge,"  due to its greater control over the hardware and the more focused reach of the OS.
Relevant Story:
I wish Microsoft Corp. should give Windows Vista Ultimate users a free upgrade to Windows 7. Microsoft should compensate its users for its (Microsoft's) failure to deliver on the promise of "Ultimate Extras"... Read more: Free UpGrade To Windows 7 For Vista Ultimate Users.

Relevant Links:
Choosing Between Clean Install And Upgrading In Windows Vista

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Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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