Although Microsoft is not revealing that many information about its Windows 7 upgrade plans some information have come to light. Probably the most important is that both Windows XP and Windows Vista users will be entitled to upgrade to Windows 7. This means that both Windows XP and Windows Vista users will be able to purchase an upgrade to Windows 7 at a discount. Microsoft has not revealed a pricing structure yet and there is still a strong rumor that Windows Vista users who purchase the operating system shortly before the release of Windows 7 will receive a free upgrade.
What’s already known is that Windows XP users will get a discount when purchasing Windows 7. They will however not be able to update Windows XP to Windows 7 directly. Windows 7 can only be installed independently which also means that Windows XP users have to find a way to transfer the data from the old operating system to the new one. This could be in the form of installing Windows 7 on a second partition or extensive backups of the data. Microsoft will probably release some guidelines to aid users in the process.
The upgrade structure for Windows Vista looks like the following:
- Windows Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Home Premium
- Windows Vista Business to Windows 7 Professional
- Windows Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Ultimate
Users with a edition of Windows Vista on the left will be able to update directly to the Windows 7 edition on the right. There is however no direct update available for other editions of Windows 7. A Windows Vista Home Premium user will therefor not be able to update his operating system to Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Ultimate. The other way round is also not support. A Windows Vista Ultimate user will not be able to upgrade his operating system to either Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Home Premium.
The only option in those cases are to perform independent installations of Windows 7. It should also be noted that updates are only possible if both operating systems use the same language. The other Windows Vista editions (Windows Vista Home Basic and Windows Vista Starter Edition) are not included in the upgrade program.