Monday, January 17, 2011

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Points To Consider Before Upgrading To Windows 7

One of the biggest mistakes made by those who purchased Vista was that they didn’t realize you could not join an Active Directory domain using any Home Edition, Starter Edition, or Media Center Editions of Vista. The same is true for Windows 7 versions as well.

Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate, along with the N versions for the European market each represent a simplification over the equivalent Vista versions that came out in January of 2007. 

In Windows 7 each version is a superset of one another. If you upgrade from one version to the next, they keep all features and functionality from the previous edition. For example moving from Starter to Ultimate, each edition will supersede the previous, containing all of its features and adding additional components.

Microsoft is initially focused on the marketing and distribution of Windows 7 Home Premium,, Windows 7 Professional, and Windows 7 Ultimate. Rather than pushing all editions on the market at once, Microsoft is aiming the core editions at specific market segments to try and simplify the choices for consumers.

Unfortunately, because of features and compatibility issues, only a limited number of versions can be used as an upgrade path for newer versions. Attempting to upgrade a 32-bit(x86) operating system to a 64-bit(x64) operating system and vice versa will always require a complete reinstall. 

Upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7

This is a tough pill to swallow for those who upgraded to Vista right away when it first hit the market. The RTM(Release to Manufacturing) edition of Windows Vista (the one released at the end of January 2007) won't have the option of upgrading to Windows 7. Microsoft's documentation indicates that upgrades to Windows 7 are supported only for Vista Service Pack 1 and SP2 editions. When it comes down to Vista-to-Windows 7 upgrades, “Cross-architecture inplace upgrades (for example, x86 to x64) are not supported. Cross-language inplace upgrades (for example, en-us to de-de) are not supported. Cross-media type in-place upgrades (for example, Staged to Unstaged or Unstaged to Staged) are also not supported.

Let us now list all the remaining versions and whether an upgrade is available:
  • No upgrade path for Windows Vista Starter (SP1, SP2), not even to Windows 7 Starter.
  • Windows Vista Home Basic (SP1, SP2) 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) can be upgraded to Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium and Ultimate 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64).
  • Windows Vista Home Premium (SP1, SP2) 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) can be upgraded to Windows 7 Home Premium and Ultimate 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64).
  • Windows Vista Business (SP1, SP2) 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) can be upgraded to Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64);
  • Windows Vista Enterprise (SP1, SP2) 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) can be upgraded to Windows 7 Enterprise 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64);
  • Windows Vista Ultimate (SP1, SP2) 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) can be upgraded to Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64);
  • No upgrade path for Windows Vista Home Basic N (SP1, SP2), not even to Windows 7 N or E;
  • No upgrade path for Windows Vista Business N (SP1, SP2), not even to Windows 7 N or E.

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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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