back to article Windows 7 'upgrade' doesn't mark XP spot

The road to Windows 7 for Vista-shy customers who want to jump straight from XP to the upcoming operating system won’t be an easy one. Microsoft confirmed yesterday that Windows XP fans would be able to purchase a licence and media to “upgrade” to the new OS once it lands. But this being Redmond there is a caveat: XP …


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  1. Craig
    Gates Halo


    If you can upgrade from XP to Vista, and Vista to 7, and with 7 being basically Vista under the hood..surely it should be trivial for them to allow XP users to do a straight upgrade?

  2. Steve
    IT Angle

    Beta Test

    Wonder if they will fix that bug with the power saver thingy on me lap top.

    When running on battery the screen is dimly lit to save batt power however when I used to connect the mains to it when the thing had vista onit the screen would light up properlty.

    even in the power savings menu i ave tried to adjust teh brightness and it just laughs at me.

    How ever I found if i restart with main power in it works lol.

    And ye i have sent feedback to Microsoft!!

  3. David Webb

    Thats good!

    The upgrade media on Vista sucks, from a fresh hard drive you have to install Vista with no CD key or internet, then run the upgrade on that Vista install before you can use the upgrade key, if it has to be a fresh install for XP to work then it'll be much quicker.

  4. TeeCee Gold badge
    Gates Horns

    Anyone surprised?

    Has anyone *ever* got an MS O/S upgrade to work successfully? Even those that are supposed to?

    XP --> Vista is a well known "wipe and reinstall" setup, if you want it stable. Win 7 is just cutting out the middle man here.

    This is one of the few areas where the vitriol generally chucked at MS round here is entirely justified.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    These pills won't kill you...

    ...but they will terminate your life.

  6. david

    hook, line and pleb

    Lets see how many people take the 'Windows plebs' bait....

  7. D@v3
    Thumb Down

    6 different flavours????

    hands up who thinks they will have learned their lesson with the Vista Capable fiasco?

  8. Jonathan Schofield

    It gets my vote!

    I have been running 7 for three weeks now, and apart from some issues with Exploring on our Domain it's fabulous. Dell XPS M1330. I might even buy a proper copy.........

  9. Ken Hagan Gold badge


    XP to 7 is an OS upgrade, and it has *never* been a good idea to let the Setup program try an upgrade. (It will do its best to migrate all your malware, but unless Microsoft have tested every configuration of every Windows program ever written, the chances are they haven't tested anything similar to your system.)

    Fista to 7 is a service pack. The option of a "clean install" is the equivalent to those "XP with Service Pack 2" CDs that Microsoft eventually started shipping.

    Of course, if users actually bothered to back up, and if OEMs actually bothered to ship installation media rather than "helpfully pre-installing gigs of gobshite", the prospect of a clean installation would be "refreshing", not "scary".

  10. Richard
    Thumb Down


    Possibly. Cheeky sods!

    Still, I'd probably opt for a clean install anyway, since I'll be starting with a clean slate. Not really a good option for those managing a large network, having adopted a "We don't need no stinkin' Vista" attitude though.

  11. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Up

    And why is this a bad thing?

    I would never trust a new version of Windows to 'upgrade' for me - a clean install is the only viable way of avoiding all the registry/system crap that would otherwise be copied over.

    I give this thumbs up for being actual sensible advice from Microsoft!

  12. filey

    there you go

    obviously, upgrading vista to windows 7 will be easy as windows 7 IS vista, more like a service pack than a new OS

  13. Wortel
    Paris Hilton

    Gun, meet foot

    Another bold move by mickeysoft, to go where others have gone before to fail.

    Then again a clean install isn't such a bad idea, the only real problem is 'typical' Windows users will simply not be doing it but opt for buying yet another new pre-installed pc from the local PC Green Grocer. or should that be Green PC Grocer. oh well, sod it.

  14. The BigYin


    ...if it is going to destroy everything, change the UI to such a degree that your staff require retraining, demand massive investment in new hardware, break programs and generally cost a lot of money for untold grief; perhaps people should look at a Linux distro, even for a few minutes?

    It will still require re-training (but you could customise the hell out of Gnome/KDE/XCFS and keep that to a minimum), many programs have OpenSource equivalents (e.g. MS Office vs OpenOffice) and even if you *MUST* have the Windows prog (as does happen in the corporate world), it can hopefully run under WINE.

    Big pluses would be the saved license fees (which should more than offset any config costs), less virus attacks, better security in general. And you can still buy proper support if you want/need it.

    Not practical for everyone I absolutely agree, but not an option that should be dismissed out of hand either.

    Of course, people will most likely just unthinkingly follow the Redmond diktat.

  15. Les

    Much the best way

    In-place upgrades are best avoided when moving to a new version of Windows. A clean install will generally result in a more stable system, and it's an ideal opportunity to get rid of the 3,187[1] applications you installed, used once then forgot about. And are you suggesting that people shouldn't be routinely backing up their data anyway?

    Mine's the one with the "ODFO" sign on the back, apparently...

    [1] Approximately

  16. Slate

    No need to wipe the drive

    XP users upgrading to WIN7 Ultimate Beta don't need to back up their data, though you do need to re instsall all your programs after. The Install does it for them. It just wraps up the entire contents of your Windows and Program Files directories and stuffs them in a folder called "Windows.OLD" leaving everything else intact. Besides, Who keeps their Data on their system partition anyway?

  17. Anonymous Coward


    So, if the 'upgrade' from XP is basically a clean install, will there be any market for the clean install license in the retail sector?

    I know it's probably no different to previous versions of windows, but if the upgrade is cheaper than the standard license, I'm sure people will be able to find an XP license number somewhere.

    Still, if it will retain apps etc from Vista, and requires a fresh install from XP, it sounds ever more like Vista SP3

  18. Steve
    Thumb Up

    Good idea....

    I would never use an "in-place" upgrade if it was avoidable anyway! I always use a fresh/spare hard drive and leave the original intact so that if it all goes pearshaped I can simply put the old one back in and get back to normal. Even if an "in-place" upgrade was available you'd still be best advised to do a backup anyway!

  19. zenkaon

    Vista SP2

    even more proof that this is just Vista SP2.

    Have to say though, if the final release is anything like the beta, this thing is gonna be fast

  20. Anonymous Coward


    so after screwing me with Vista they want me to pay them to fix it?

    Go fuck em im going to use somethign else!

  21. Nigel Wright

    No big deal then, is it?

    Any sensible person would do a clean install anyway...upgrades have a habit of going horribly wrong at the best of times.Granted, non-savvy users might struggle with the concept of backing up data and then restoring it, but it's hardly difficult if they read a few books first.

  22. Mage Silver badge


    If Win7 inplace upgrade of vista works well that would prove that it's really Vista SP3.

    (There is a separate Vista SP2 coming out)

  23. Anonymous Coward


    What you say is all true, but it does point out just low poor quality the OS is, doesn't it? The user's files and the system files should have nothing to do with each other.

    Will Windows EVER be ready for the normal desktop user?

  24. Richard Pennington

    Simple process for upgrading without getting into too much trouble...

    I was always taught not to get myself into anything I couldn't get myself out of ... i.e. don't do anything irreversible. With that in mind...

    You will need a new hard drive and a hard drive enclosure. It is also assumed that you don't mind opening up the machine.

    Step 1: Open up the machine and remove the existing hard drive.

    Step 2: Put the new (empty) hard drive into the space thus vacated.

    Step 3: Perform the (clean) install of Windows 7 onto the empty drive.

    Step 4: While waiting for step 3 to complete, put the old hard drive into the disk enclosure, setting it up as an external drive.

    Step 5: Boot up in Windows 7, and use the old disk - with all of your data - as the external drive.

    Step 6: If you don't like how Windows 7 operates, you can always reverse the procedure to get back to XP (which at step 5 is still intact on the external drive).

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    what about upgrading from the windows 7 beta?

    And will there be a gap between the beta expiring and the release where I have no windows?

  26. Richard Lloyd

    Most home users don't upgrade their OS ever

    I suspect 95% of home users never upgrade the OS on their machine (or if they have to, they get someone else, be it a nerd friend or PC World, to do it). Can you really see the average Joe Bloggs in the street backing up their data and app installers (if they are downloads particularly), booting from a Windows 7 CD, trudging through a Windows installer (which they'll probably have never seen before) and the restoring their data and running the app installers (some of which may not work). And how do they go back to XP if any of the above fails?

    What MS should release is what Linux has had for years - live DVD installers, so you can boot into a DVD-based Windows 7 desktop, check your hardware works and maybe even try to install some of your old apps and check that they work along with trying out some of the backed up data with the apps too, though I'm not sure how easy that would be to do in a live Windows environment.

    Basically, what MS are saying is that there is *no* upgrade path directly from XP to Windows 7 at all - the procedure they describe is a clean install. If you're going to go for a clean install, why not play with a live CD of Ubuntu/OpenSUSE/Fedora and see if stuff like WINE will run your Windows apps? If you go ahead and install Linux, you can always keep the XP install, dual boot and not "need" Windows 7 at all...

  27. Richard
    Gates Halo

    So what's new?

    XP users will be quite familiar with clean installs considering the average XP install slows to a crawl and needs wiping after 6 months anyway. Nothing to see here.

  28. Nathan

    Just like XP was when it first came out...

    Why are people complaining about vista still? Remember when XP came out, everyone was like "oh my god it requires so much more hardware than Win2000" I ran XP on a 850mhz AMDk6 with 128MB of ram and thought to myself "what the hell are people talking about, I can run XP on a 4 year old computer" Now in the days of Vista I can still run it on a 4 year old computer... 1.8ghz AMD Turion (MOBILE) 1GB RAM and runs Vista perfectly fine, I can even process 1080p HD content off it... I cant even play 1080p content without massive hickups in Ubuntu (same laptop using VLC in both Vista and Ubuntu)

    I've been using Vista since the week it was released and never had any issues with it, If I were to use any flavor of Linux I would be kicking myself trying to get all the hardware working properly. 2.5 Quad AMD, duel Radeon HD4850s, (four) 22 inch wide screen Samsungs, 8GBs ram and 12TBs of assorted harddrives (including 2 10k RPM HDDs in Raid0), HD TV tuner card, Creative Audigy2... (thats my one and a half year old computer)

    Seriously If your computer is four years old or newer, you can run vista....

  29. Bumhug


    "Still, I'd probably opt for a clean install anyway, since I'll be starting with a clean slate. Not really a good option for those managing a large network, having adopted a "We don't need no stinkin' Vista" attitude though."

    Those managing a large network are not going to go round running an upgrade on each pc. They may put on their timesheets that they spent 20 hours over the weekend upgrading pc's but most of that will be spent in the pub while the pc copies an image accross from a server

  30. Dale


    So they shot themselves in the foot with Vista, and then realised they still had the other foot to take care of. Nice, balanced solution.

  31. Jodo Kast

    Same old Microsoft...

    I'll stick with XP Media Center Edition, until a new version of Windows gives me more features.

    No more features = waste of money.

    XP can run Windowblinds to give you a nice Aero interface. Besides that, there's not much to Vista or Windows 7 except more money for Microsoft.

  32. Greg

    I'd wipe anyway!

    Whenever I get a laptop with a Windows OEM install on it, I flatten it and start again. Best thing to do, really. Gets it nice and stable, and gets rid of the crap.

    I know full well that if I let MS do an upgrade from XP to 7, there will be all sorts of crap left behind on my hard drive, and it probably won't be as stable for whatever reason. So I'd rather do the wipe + clean install anyway.

    The only OS I trust to upgrade itself is Ubuntu.

  33. Toastan Buttar

    It's spelt "U-P-G-R-A-Y-E-D-D"

    The two D's are for a "double-dose of pimpin".

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    More importantly...

    How much will Vista owners get charged to upgrade? At least XP users have had 6 years of a very decent OS. Vista users, it's been nothing but pain. I would be very annoyed if the upgrade price was the same...

  35. Francis

    A clean slate is good for any OS

    Why would you NOT want to have a clean install? IMO that's just lazy. Just like cleaning your house, your computer needs cleaning every now and then and a good sort of spring cleaning every couple of years at least. Regardless of the OS you use. Apple pretends you don't need to do that because they know their audience is technically challenged, not because it doesn't help.

  36. James O'Shea
    Gates Horns

    re Vista SP2

    No, WIn 7 is _not_ Vista SP2. I know, 'cause I have Vista SP2 beta running on one of my WinBoxes right now.

    Win 7 is Vista SP3.

  37. Jon Eiche

    Money to Be Made

    It seems to me that a company such as Acronis or Laplink could make some money here with a utility that would back up your apps and data, then fold them back in after you've done the fresh install of Win 7.

  38. Peter Kay

    Dumb move..

    Personally I always prefer a fresh install, but given that many people are prejudiced against buying Vista, requiring them to do a fresh reinstall is going to hurt sales to some degree.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    What's the beef?

    Not sure I see why this is an issue? Vista is a top OS anyway, so most people who wanted a seamless upgrade will already have moved on from XP to Vista and can do so again now onto Vista2.

  40. Anonymous Coward


    "XP users will be quite familiar with clean installs considering the average XP install slows to a crawl and needs wiping after 6 months anyway. Nothing to see here."

    I have an average XP install.

    It's still as perky and stable as it was two years ago and has never been reinstalled. Perhaps it's the average user who needs severely refreshing periodically.

    In fact, mine's running so reliably that I think I'll pass on MS' generous upgrade offer and leave it as it is.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    It's a conspiracy!

    Apple have got someone in the marketing department! That is the only rational reason that I acn think of. No-one would willingly want to fuck up a new product launch this much...

  42. This post has been deleted by its author

  43. FreeTard

    Vista is fast enough, as long as... stop a bucket load of services.

    Such as :

    well, almost everything. Especially that ridiculous resource hog desktop themes. I mean, come on, 300 meg or sommat it uses.

    Bloody useless. I actually got a decent speed out of my brothers 1GB vista premium box.

    Might give Vista V2 a go though, maybe.

  44. Kenny Swan


    Funny how everyone's an expert on an OS still in public Beta and who have never seen the source code or developed for. Why don't you all just wait and see how things pan out for once and do something a little more productive than moaning about how much of a disaster Windows 7 will be? Will there ever be an OS worthy of you?

  45. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    @Mark Legosz

    So when there's a discussion about mobile phones and car accidents, you get tired that someone ALWAYS mentions the idea of turning the mobile phone off?

    Migrating to Linux is a viable solution.

    If it were being said in a discussion about Windows 7 sales figures, THEN you'd have something to complain about, but it is completely appropriate here.

  46. OffBeatMammal
    Gates Halo

    it's good practice anyway

    if you've been running a WinXP machine for more than 6 months it's probably a good idea to take a backup and clear out the cruft.

    I very rarely do version to version updates for that reason, and with the Tranfer Wizard and various data backup options it's not the same scale problem it was 5-1`0 years ago

  47. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    re: Just like XP was when it first came out...

    "Why are people complaining about vista still? Remember when XP came out, everyone was like "oh my god it requires so much more hardware than Win2000""

    Well it does.

    Vista and Windows 7 use a lot more hardware than XP and FAR MORE than Win2000. This doesn't stop XP using more than Windows2000, though.

    But you can't GET Win2K any more. Applications are now becoming dated and unsupported for Win2K. So comparing 7 to 2K is not possible: it is no longer available.

    In 12 years time when XP is unable to be an OS, come back.

  48. John Savard

    How About Dual Boot?

    Generally speaking, a safer way to install an upgrade version would be to install it in another partition as a clean install, and use your old software in your old operating system. If that can still be done, and the license allows it, then Windows 7 would have a useful upgrade option from XP available; I agree that a replacement clean install is not a particularly useful option.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Linux fanboys?

    Why the anti MS storeis all the time?

  50. Steve

    XP REinstall

    Hmm So I am not the only one noticed that XP needs a reinstall after about 6 months.. Thank god for Norton Ghost eh.

    Also there is still people out there who insist on storing all there data on one drive with out even partioning it. (Prefer seperate drives my self)

  51. Andrew
    Gates Halo

    RE: there you go

    Thats clearly a fail statement as windows 7 from what I was told uses the XP kernel not the Vista one.

    I've done upgrades in the past and it just makes it a sluggish piece of poo compaired to a fresh install!

  52. Chika

    I expected as much

    ...but then what is the prob? As far back as I can remember, Windows upgrading has never been reliable. But I can't say that I'm surprised that some folk will complain about this. In fact, even if I were upgrading from Vista to 7, I'd do a clean install. No doubt the people that will be affected the most will be those that never back their data up, so will cream their undercrackers when 7 starts doing its thing with the drive or, more, likely, when they open the system for the first time and find that all their pr0n has gone bubbye.

    Oh, and by the by, Mark. Yes, Win2k is no longer officially available. It does not, however, mean that you absolutely, positively cannot get it!

  53. Tone


    How many business\corporate users are going to try wine when they state that "Wine is still under development, and it is not yet suitable for general use"

  54. mike

    Microsoft is doing these customers a favor by forcing a clean install.

    Their upgrades have been cocked-up since day one.

  55. andy


    I've corrected you...

    Migrating to Linux is a viable solution for serious techies who happen to have just the right set of hardware, lots of time on their hands and don't play games or use any specialist software.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Dear Microsoft





  57. Anonymous Coward

    I hear...

    ...that Ubuntu do a disk that will upgrade all Windows systems...

  58. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    remember this

    For all the linux boys out there.... even the upgrade option of going from Fedora 6 to Fedora 8 is'nt reccomended and forget going from 6 to 9

    As for windows, ever since my first ever PC with windows 95 caught a dose of .dll hell, Its always easier to wipe and install than press the dreaded upgrade option

    I dont care what OS I use so long as its secure, fast and does'nt get in the way of what I want to do

    so its Fedora 6 and WinXP dual boot fo me

  59. Sooty

    no inplace for all versions of vista either

    if you have 32bit and you want to upgrade to 64bit you're doing a clean install, at least the beta made me do that.

  60. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    @Steve (backlight too dim when using batteries)

    Probably a BIOS feature - it allows manufacturers to claim a long battery life at the expense of making a laptop completely unusable outside on a sunny day. Try entering the BIOS and removing the power. If the backlight dims, it cannot be a Microsoft bug. There might be a BIOS setting to disable this irritation.

    Why jump from XP to Windows 7 when you can leap straight to a current implementation of Windows 8. (Windows 8 will be the other name for Microsoft Linux).

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Why the anti MS storeis all the time?

    Because they are shite, as is your spelling!

  62. John
    Gates Halo

    How could so many come up with SP2

    Vista, Second Edition is the business model we're digging up.

    Real upgrades are never free from Microsoft.

  63. Ryan
    Gates Halo

    @ andy re: linux


    sometimes I want to just install a program and use it! eg:

    a) the linux way:

    1 - configure repositories

    2 - spend 3 hours learning how the program was coded before you can figure out which cryptic option you should select.

    3 - spend 2 more hours researching and obtaining arcane dependencies

    4 - code half the functionality yourself by writing a .config file to replace the bizarre one included in the package

    5 - discover that it doesn't run on your hardware anyway

    b) the windows way:

    1 - download setup.exe

    2 - run setup.exe

    3 - use program

  64. Dave


    Re: "Besides, Who keeps their Data on their system partition anyway?"

    Err, anyone that has bought an off the shelf PC (e.g. HP, Dell etc) and does not know about partitioning or remote storage. Or how about anyone that uses a standard Windows disk and has NO control over where Users (Documents and Settings) is located.

    The question really should be: why the hell doesn't MS make it easier to move Users (Documents and Settings in Win2k/XP land) to a specific drive / partition? It *IS* possible - you can do it using xlite for WinXP but Vista is a lot harder... even though it too supports the option of setting the Users folder on another drive. MS should just have done with it and use "mount points" like oh, *nix ;) That would solve a lot of installation issues and user data being lost during system partition failure.

  65. Mike Gravgaard
    Gates Horns

    RE: 6 different flavours????

    Microsoft don't learn mistakes...

    I don't understand Microsoft's thinking either - you would have thought they would look at Vista and see the mistakes they have made.

    6 versions = More profit & customer confusion

    Bugs = features

    Mistake = admission of fault

    Fault = Liability

    Liability = Possible court case

    Court case = possible loss

    Possible loss = possibly payout to other side

    Other side = enemy

    Enemy = Destroy


  66. Mark


    And I've corrected you: the same issues are the case for migration from Windows to a newer version of windows.

    ALL OF THEM the same issues.

  67. Mark

    re: Wine

    Pixar use wine A LOT.

    That sort of company.

    A sensible one.

  68. Mark

    re: Wine

    "Oh, and by the by, Mark. Yes, Win2k is no longer officially available. It does not, however, mean that you absolutely, positively cannot get it!"

    And what company would put their business critical needs on an operating system that is unsupported (which is worse than beta-quality)?

  69. Anonymous Coward


    Linux users are like those annoying religous nuts that turn up uninvited on your doorstep ready to preach the word of their religion.

    99% of people dont care what you have to say, and guess what? You are not going to "convert" anyone.

    Are you somehow threatened by a different OS (especially one that is much more popular)? Maybe you should just get a life and realise that its just an OS, or maybe just get therapy and learn how to coexist with other human beings. Like any true believer you wont take any notice except to continue to hijack discussions to spout the same crap over again with pure conviction that your way is the only way. At least the Mac narcissists have something cool looking to point at when they rant.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Francis

    Erm, bollocks. The drive in this Mac still sports preference files from over 10 years ago, when I was running OS 9. Eventually OS X went over the top of that, then got steadily upgraded, stripped of OS 9, re-imaged to larger drives and then to a completely separate laptop.

    Never, NEVER have I totally wiped and reloaded that image, and yet this machine runs faster than that first OS X install.

    Just because Windows has traditionally died in a seething stew of its own sewerage, don't presume that other operating systems do the same, or that it's the natural order of things.

  71. Mike Gravgaard

    Linux migration

    Blimey 2nd comment in 30 or so minutes :)

    I have no problem moving from Windows XP to Linux but these are the problems as I see them:

    * Managers - managers don't seem to get Linux or open source and it is an up hill battle to convince them, you know you have no chance when they go and on about support (yet they don't use Microsoft support). I have given up on a "one step migration" and tried migrating single applications instead (i.e small things like moving from Winzip to open source file archivers).

    * Users - I'm convinced that users don't really understand Windows - getting a reasonable under standing from some users** about a fault can be like pulling teeth.

    * Migrating to a Windows/Microsoft business - a colleague and I tried Linux (Ubuntu 8.10) under VirtualBox and VMware Workstation but when you have everything setup to use NTLM authentication this can be an issue (if anyone has cracked this I would appreciate a "How to" document).


  72. J

    I hate to...

    I hate to say positive things about Microsoft (heh), but this is actually good advice. Maybe for any substantial upgrade of any OS.

    I have never tried to upgrade an MS OS, in the long gone past when I still used them. Always installed from scratch.

    The OSs that I did try to upgrade in place (different flavors of Linux) did NOT work perfectly. Ever. Might be I was unlucky several times, but something was always broken after the upgrade (e.g. sound gets finicky, desktop effects don't work anymore, etc.) Fresh install of same OS on same machine and all is perfect.

    But as someone else mentioned above, I can be smug in the fact that my /home partition is always completely separate from the system ones, so my data is never touched by the process. Reinstalling all the apps is a bit of a pain though, no matter how easy Synaptic is (I love Synaptic, non-Linux folks have no clue how easy installing 3rd party apps can be).

  73. Darren Bell


    Will be my 5th in-place upgrade. PC just as good as when i installed it.

    I think i started on Hoary Hedgehog.

  74. jim
    Thumb Down

    gotta be kidding

    And they think the big corporate users who wouldn't buy Vista are now going to wipe every hard drive in the office and buy W7?

  75. Keith Doyle

    Here's the real question...

    Ok, all you Vista/Windows 7 fanbois-- there's only ONE reason I can see to upgrade from XP to either of these-- and that's for a SINGLE feature that Vista/WIndows 7 is SUPPOSED to have.

    Now lets see if any of you fanbois are actually able to make use of it.

    Here's the question:

    Could you get any useful work done on your system if you didn't know any of the administrator account passwords? (assuming that all the important apps have been installed by someone who knew how to configure it and *did* have such passwords)...

    Inquiring minds want to know...

  76. Anonymous Coward


    Anyone who doesn't know you have to be an idiot to attempt an upgrade and get what you hope for is either an idiot or hasn't been using PC's for long anyway.........

  77. Tone


    "Pixar use wine A LOT. That sort of company."

    You got me.. pixar has the specialist needs of your average corporation...

    what a numpty..

  78. Tone
    Thumb Down

    @Keith Doyle

    Where I work it does not matter who installed the app.. the users can only write to HKCU and their profile area..

    it really is not rocket science,,

  79. Anonymous Coward

    Re: @slate


    >why the hell doesn't MS make it easier to move Users (Documents and Settings in Win2k/XP land) to a specific drive / partition? It *IS* possible - you can do it using xlite for WinXP but Vista is a lot harder...

    Win2k - Win7, check out regedit.exe > HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders

    >MS should just have done with it and use "mount points" like oh, *nix ;) That would solve a lot of installation issues and user data being lost during system partition failure.

    Again, since at least Win2k, right-click My Computer > Manage > Disk Management, right click partition Change drive letter or paths.


    As for the article, aye kill off the upgrade option all together, screw making it easier to move documents, this is a recession and we need money, let the users beg (and pay)!

  80. Anonymous Coward

    Sorry Microcrud

    XP will do me for many more years yet.

    As for new games and software, meh!

    - My existing software does everything I want

    - I don't play games or use FriendFace

    - The net will still work for me via FF

    - Email will still work

    - All my data are still belong to me

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Having played with the Win 7 beta

    I won't be rushing out to buy an upgrade (doubly now I know I'd have to do a clean install). From my point of view there is nothing compelling about it for an existing system. Multi-touch is useless unless you already have a touch screen, and the only other interesting feature I noticed was the libraries.... not worth spending money on though.

  82. tony trolle

    Hardware costs

    Mean to me that my next system will run Virtual Machine images.

    So in case "Windows 7 is not Heaven" (c) I will have XP, Win98se versions all waiting for me.

    All other systems are happy with XP or the real old stuff ticking along with Win98 and TinyMe.

    MY only problem is which host OS to use...........

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Do people who bought Vista have to buy...

    Windows 7? If they do they should feel thoroughly ripped off. Windows 7 would certainly seem to be Vista sp2.

  84. John Blagden
    Jobs Halo

    All OS's are not the same

    I'm writing this on a Apple Mag G4 tower. It has had sucessively OS 9, OS X 10.0 (Dual Boot with OS 9), OS X 10.1 (Dual Boot with OS 9),OS X 10.2 (Dual Boot with OS 9), OS X 10.3 Panther (Dual Boot with OS 9), OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and OS X 10.5 (Leopard). At no point has the machine slowed down or had any other problem associated with installing a new OS over the top of the old one.

    On another machine (Mac Pro Tower) I wanted a larger hard drive, so I installed 10.5 on a second drive and just used the built-in Migration Assistant to move all my applications and data across from the original 10.4 drive. Any Apple programs that were updated in 10.5 were left behind on the 10.4 drive automatically.

    Mac users look on in fascinated wonder at the self-imposed cluster-fuck that is Windows. Mac OS is not perfect, but it's light years ahead of anything MS can do or what Windows users can aspire to.

  85. Mark


    Ask Codeweavers who buys their product (based on Wine). They make money from it.

    And only NOW do you say "Oh, no, not THAT sort of company". You keep changing so that you can bever be wrong, because as soon as it has been proven wrong, you change.

    You ignorant pig fucker.

  86. Mark


    Uk, the Loki installer (still available, despite Loki going titsup because the CEO ran off with the money because it was OPEN SOURCE) lets you

    a) click on a Setup icon

    b) Select where to install it

    c) Runs

    In fact, when you select your home area to install (so as not to run as root), IT ONLY INSTALLS THERE. It doesn't put shite in the system directories or anywhere else. Just in the area related to where you have asked it. Unlike Windows which update and stuff things in Windows/SYSTEM.

    You don't have to do all your a-f either. Your distribution has "Add packages" rather like your MS's "Add New Programs". However, unlike "Add New Programs", the "Add packages" application will add from other repositories but is configured for you to use the standard repositories. So rather than one app to add programs and a different one for updates, you have the one program for doing both.

    Simpler than MS.

  87. Rich

    So whats new

    I have never trusted the Windows upgrade procedure since Win '98. I personally like starting a clean slate and I will still dabble with Windows 7.

  88. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My 2p worth

    Sorry guys, but I converted to a Mac and OSx when I needed to change my PC a couple of months ago. I couldn't face the Vista route so jumped ship.

    I can't honestly recommend the experience enough. The damn thing just works and all the little windows quirks are gone. Confirmed MAC user now. I'll never go back.

  89. Peter Kay

    @Can you get useful work done without being admin


    Sorry, was that too brief? Yes, again. Unless your apps are badly written and need admin privilege - which isn't Vista/Windows 7's fault. Although it's pretty poor that even some of Microsoft's own apps from 2005 need admin privilege..

    Once you've installed your apps and configured your system, UAC really doesn't pop up very often (more installs, security fixes, config changes).

    I'd also note that Vista appears to be somewhat less prone to gathering cruft over the period of several months. It could perhaps be argued that the larger requirements offset this, but it' still doesn't slow down to the same extent..

  90. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No 'archive and install' equivalent?

    Good lord, don't they even have an equivalent of Mac OS X's Archive and Install? It will install a clean, detritus free version of the OS for you but retain your User accounts, preferences (including network ones) and data so that you don't have to go through the tedium of restoring everything of your own from a backup. The only minor drawback is that you have to re-install some apps such as Photoshop, because they need to be reactivated due to lame copy protection schemes, but that is it.

    MS honestly doesn't have that capability in their OS updates yet?

  91. Rob Davis

    One version "flavour" of Windows 7 please

    Did they not learn their lesson of too many confusing variations of Vista?

    Why not just one Windows 7 for everyone.

    How idiotic.

  92. The BigYin
    Thumb Down

    Easier to install on Linux or Windows?

    Hmm...I'd say Linux. No, really, stop sniggering at the back.

    If it comes from a repository, you just tick it in the candy-store (all dependencies get sorted) and down it comes. You don't even need to reboot (a revelation to a Windows user such as myself - kernal updates excepted for obvious reasons). The one big advantage of using the repositories? Updates are all handled in a consistent manner in one place. Joy.

    Or you can do it Windows stylee and down load an installer (the repositories do not always have the latest version) and then simply install it.

    Some Windows installs are a snap, some are a total pain on the tits and it mostly comes down to the skill of the coder who wrote the installer rather than the OS. Most of these people assume that everyone uses "C:\Documents and Settings" and is an admin on their local system.

    You can still get hideous installs in Linux, but the repositories (by and large) do make it a relatively painless process and it is these repositories that give Linux the edge IMHO.

    Obviously Ryan has never used them and is just spreading FUD.

    For the avoidance of doubt my primary OS is Windows XP, my OS of choice for getting things done is Windows XP but Linux (I fiddle with Ubuntu) does have certain charms and I am seriously thinking of moving to it when MS try to shaft me with Windows 7 and the XP EOL.

  93. Doug Lynn

    XP to Windows 7 upgrade is possible

    Hi, you could have your computer tech do a temporary upgrade to vista, then immediately have him upgrade to Windows 7. I have done that for older systems that won't upgrade directly to WinXP in the past.

  94. Doug Lynn

    Or by Vista upgrade that includes free update to Windows 7, when Windows 7 first comes out

    Hi, like when Vista came out, you could buy OEM XP including a free update to Vista, so get the OEM that includes Vista with free upgrade to Windows 7. Do a quick double upgrade from XP to Vista to Windows 7...

  95. Joe

    Minor Details

    I agree with much of the hype about this being something of a scam by MS to what should be just a SP to Vista. But, there is a bit of falsehood in one major line of this article which I wanted to point out:

    "This means wiping their computer hard drive’s data first, which doesn’t sound much like an upgrade to us."

    That's not what this means:

    "This requires the user to back up their data, install Windows 7, re-install the programs and restore their data. For PCs running Windows Vista customers have the option of an in-place upgrade of Windows 7 keeping their data and programs intact or to perform a clean install of Windows 7.”

    Just as in XP and Vista you can do a re-install, without reformatting. Best practice is to copy profiles from 'Documents and Settings (XP)' or 'Users (Vista)' to a new directory at the root of the drive, but even those files are preserved in most cases. Choosing the option not to reformat on a properly functioning hard drive during the install process will not modify the existing information on the drive aside from deleting the '<root>:\Windows' directory and losing track of all existing profiles. After the install is complete, all you have to then do is copy the files from the old profile directory into your new profile and you're set, no other data in any other folder on the drive is modified. So, users really never have to 'wipe their computer hard drive' as the line so blatently states.

    Or, run Linux for free and truly break the regime.

  96. Alexander

    why not just name this place the farm

    because it is full of bullshit, I am getting oh so fed up with shite like "Easier to install on Linux or Windows".

    This is a topic about the upgrade path from XP to W7 , Will all the little linuts please leave the room and have a kit-kat or something.

    I am not getting dragged into my favorite OS is better than yours brick biting malarky, you gentlemen need some fresh air and mental health checks

    4 extremely deluded and blantanly false statments.

    1)linux easier to install than windows ?

    2)linux distros and flavours less than the current versions of windows?

    3)linux is a better OS than XP (nevermind vista or w7)?

    4)OpenSource = better than purchased software?

    5) having to spend hours getting some thing to work is better than it just working with one click.

    Having used linux as a web server for years and dipped my toe in the desktop distro's a while back, the linux community seem to be filled with people who like to find obsucre ways to get things working no matter how anal the process is.

    This is what seemS to drive the linux ideaology "hey i got some thing to work he did not" then a 3 page script on how it was done....GAFL Get A F****** LIFE.

    On topic.

    really dont see why people would think xp would upgrade to W7 did Win95 upgrade to XP. yeah W7 should have been Vista and have agree MS's worst OS blunder ever , I am more intrested in what they will try to fleece me foran upgrade from Vista to W7 the greedy bar stewards that they are.

  97. Peter Kay

    @archive and install

    Vista does have an equivalent to archive and install.

    Unfortunately prior to SP1 and during the SP1 beta program it remained a buggy piece of shit. I don't know if it's been fixed by now.

  98. Mark McC
    Gates Halo

    And how is this worse than XP->Vista?

    XP Professional can't be upgraded to Vista Home Basic/Premium, but sometimes can be upgraded to Business or Ultimate. XP Media Centre can be upgraded to Home Basic, but NOT Home Premium, but does upgrade to Vista Business/Ultimate. If you try to upgrade XP-64 to Vista 64, a MS exec comes round your house and pisses in your teapot.

    And when you finally do pick'n'mix two versions that are upgradable, you'll find the upgrade process makes a complete pig's ear out of it and you have to go back to wiping the installation and installing clean.

    At least Microsoft are being honest and admitting that upgrading is and always has been an exercise in futility.

  99. elderlybloke

    To Alexander (the Great?) above

    Bugger you mate.

    I feel like expressing an opinion , so I will.

    I have found the installing Ubuntu on a computer is faster and easier than a Microsoft product .

    I have done 98 frequently, and XP quite a few times , but have now stopped that sort of behaviour .

    Done an install of 8.04 on my previous computer , and have done an upgrade from 8.04 to 8.10 on my new one.

    My nice computer man who installed the new motherboard etc, installed 8.04 even though he had not seen Ubuntu before.

    Yes , Ubuntu and Linux are not perfect, but I have no intention of returning to Microsoft .

    Peace be with you.

    PS. I installed Ubuntu when I was 77. Trying to learn new tricks.

  100. Mark

    ..GAFL Get A F****** LIFE.

    Says someone with so little life they spend what must be 20 minutes on this thread complaining about how people on this thread who think FOSS is good need to get a life.

    GAFL yourself.

  101. Steven Summon

    Its not that bad guys!!!

    I never comment on these matters. Like most of the "TheReg" readers we are all professionals from different levels in the industry, one of you always get my point across so I never bother commenting.

    When went xp went to Vista I knew like everyone else it was a let down from the start. But when Win 7 came out I could not resist being one of the first to test and comment about it to my friends. It fixed almost all of Vista faults in one fell swoop.

    Listen guys, who really wants to go from a version of XP to Win 7? If you are like most of us in professional industry your users are going to have quite a old version of XP already installed. Do you really want to upgrade to Win 7? Maybe for ease but we all know that the best way to get the best out of any new Win OS is to perform a clean install!!

    Please let me illustrate my point here. I have an old Dell D600 Latitude laptop kindly donated to the missus. I used this laptop as the guinea pig, installed Win 7 (docs and personal files in seperate partition of course) no problems. Then realised I did not have the latest wifi drivers decide to reinstall winxp wifi drivers.... IT WORKED... Windows updates and the laptop was working fine at almost XP levels. Bare in mind this laptop is over 5 years old now. Which lead me my next point - 2009 - "The Netbook Wars". In the left corner, Win 7 the reigning champion Vs in the right corner, Ubuntu Netbook version "The New Hope".... Another comment for another time perhaps....

    Remember guys, what MS have done is leave a hole for other companies in the industry to captialise on. One I can think of that does a fantastic job of migrations is Acronis. Hell your own company or department will be able to cope this with ease with the skill sets that you posess. We all know MS could allow you to migrate from XP to Win 7 with ease but hey this is the nature of the game.

    Lets just hope MS learn BIG TIME from the mistake that was VISTA and start putting up a decent fight against the likes of Apple and Ubuntu on the desktop front. MS know they need to start being bolder to move forward but have been to scared to do it up until now.....

  102. Fred

    RE: Upgrade

    Why do windows users react to the Linux comments as if they are scared of it?

    I used windows for over 12 years, and after so much expense and hassle from viruses/malware/upgrades/patches/scans/crashes/intrusions I bit the bullet and went to Linux, Ubuntu in fact.

    As an experienced professional user and administrator I can justifiably say that there is NO benefit of remaining with windows. Placing all the security benefits of Linux to one side for a moment, if I have a question about ANY part of Linux, I can go an get in touch with the person who maintains that package, and get help/advice/pointers and some times even freely offered modifications for my needs - just TRY to do that with M$!! good luck.

    My boss has hit the nail on the head when he says: windows is like smoking:life is a lot easier when you give it up.

    Linux if free and open and honest, and doesn't go hawking schools out of money like some dodgy predator!

  103. Pink

    re: linux

    Windows has never provided an effective upgrade path and I don't have a problem with that. That's simply their choice and as has been said a niche market for other companies to fill. They lie to you about how seamless the upgrade is, and well once shame on them, twice shame on you. This time, less lies. Can only be a good thing, but still lies. Maybe next time they will recommend a third party solution or even go as far as to bundle one.

    I shifted camps, though work still means I have one foot firmly in MS land so I have daily experience and just laugh nowadays at Vista (in the insane kinda way). I can only continue to hold out hope that Win 7 fixes enough of my daily issues to make my working life a little more enjoyable again.

    As for my home computing life well

    It went from this. (thanks @ryan)

    a) the windows way:

    1 - Locate software and download or go to shop and buy, or buy online and wait for delivery.

    2 - Enter credit card details somewhere along the line.

    3 - Attempt to install.

    4 - Turn off anti-virus software to stop it blocking installation.

    5 - Spend 3 hours locating a compatible version of software (patch, update).

    6 - Spend 2 more hours finding downloads of obscure tools on Microsoft Downloads site to allow installation (MSXML6, VB6 runtime, VC runtime, MSI installer 3.x, Direct X 9.0c).

    7 - Install software

    8 - Reboot

    9 - Spend 1 hour hacking the registry to change back or remove settings the installing software overwrote.

    10 - Discover that it doesn't really run on my hardware anyway because I don't quite have the right drivers to support the right version of directx and I can't find the information anyway to tell me exactly what should be the right version so randomly install as many items as I can possibly find in the vain hope that one of them might work and hope the wrong ones uninstall if actually given any kind of option to do so.

    11 - Find updated drivers to support hardware.

    12 - Update anti virus and anti spyware tools to stop them false positiving on the newly installed software.

    13 - Convince windows defender I know what I am doing and this is actually software I want to run.

    14 - Go and make dinner and come back to it tomorrow after work.

    To this

    b) the *nix way:

    1 - Open package manager running as normal privilege user

    2 - Enter root password

    3 - Select software package

    4 - Accept dependencies automatically chosen.

    5 - Wait for it to download from a trusted source with PGP signing and install.

    6 - Enjoy.


    This of course does not apply if you have some specialist software requirements and that software is only supplied on a particular platform. Whether you are a corporate or home user is irrelevant. You're stuck to what is known as vendor tie-in in that case and good luck with that. I hope you find a better supplier.

  104. Paul C. Dickie

    Suitable launch date

    The only appropriate launch date would be April 1st.

    If XP users will have such trouble "upgrading", why should they bother?

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