Microsoft: Windows XP to Windows 7 upgrade possible

Microsoft has confirmed that customers can purchase upgrade media and an upgrade license at a discounted price to move from Windows XP to Windows 7. However, customers need to do a clean installation of Windows 7. The pricing details of XP upgrade licenses are not yet known.

An operating system upgrade offers users the option of choosing between in-place upgrades, with installed applications & data in-place in the machine and a fresh installation which overwrites the hard drive's contents. By eliminating in-place upgrades, users can have a reliable installation after backing up all their data and applications. But still considering the huge number of XP systems in use, it is going to be a tedious upgrade as a lot of backup has to be done.

Microsoft has been working on ways to help Windows XP users make the move by providing other tools and ways to get through upgrade process, but declines to provide further details on how it intends to simplify the upgrade process.

Microsoft also plans to shift XP from mainstream support to extended support on April 14, 2009. Mainstream support delivers free fixes for security patches and other bug fixes to everyone. Extended support delivers security updates to all users, but nonsecurity hot fixes are to be provided only to companies that have signed support contracts with Microsoft.

Till now Microsoft has issued 3 service packs for XP. In December 2008, Microsoft extended XP's sales life span to mid-2010 to account for netbooks. Michael Cherry, an analyst at Directions commented about XP's popularity as it is the first time he can remember that we have a situation where people will be continuing to buy devices (netbooks) with an operating system no longer in mainstream. He added that for any pre-installed copy of Windows XP, support that customer buys is not tied to the Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy, but rather to the OEM's support policy. So, if a consumer purchases a netbook today with Windows XP Home pre-installed, their primary support would be through the OEM. It is also clear that Microsoft is taking Windows 7 and netbooks seriously.

If you are looking to upgrade your Windows Vista to Windows 7 beta, you can read our upgrade process overview here

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Ok, so they pay less, but what about the non-techsavy people who can't figure out what a "clean install" requires? They better put a giant warning in the installer that says "Warning: Migrating from XP to 7 will delete all your files! Make sure to backup first!"

They are just doing this to make sure no one complains about the upgrade effect. I think its a good thing because it forces a clean install.

Extended support delivers security updates to all users, but nonsecurity hot fixes are to be provided only to companies that have signed support contracts with Microsoft.

Gotta love this sort of corporate thinking. "Let's keep developing hotfixes for a while longer, but just DON'T hand them out to our customers! We need to force them to jump ship! OK, we can be kind to our enterprise customers, but not the rest!" Why not just simply support everyone until they don't support anyone instead of this hypocrisy?

bbfc_uk said,
Otherwise no one will move on from XP if MS keep releasing hit fixes for it.

XP needs to be killed off ASAP.

Impossible! Windows XP can only be killed by stabbing him in the heart with the ancient bone saber of Zumacalis!

Vista users should get a bigger discount.

They should also get compensation for how bad Vista is to XP.

I wonder if the same hardware companies will take the same stance and not have drivers ready for Windows 7 like they did with Vista.

I agree that Windows Vista users should get a bigger discount or XP users should simply not be entitled to the upgrade. Of course, in the past, Microsoft has let individuals upgrade from an OS one cycle prior to the previous.

Maybe a more realistic version would simply be to offer the product at half the price to individuals with valid Vista numbers. If not, maybe we should start crying and blogging in the media like the anti-vista individuals from two years ago.

leesmithg said,
Vista users should get a bigger discount.

They should also get compensation for how bad Vista is to XP.

I wonder if the same hardware companies will take the same stance and not have drivers ready for Windows 7 like they did with Vista.

*sigh*

They didn't have drivers ready for Vista because it was brand new and they were lazy. Windows 7 is extremely close to Vista, and most Vista drivers work on Windows 7, so they should be ready.

No, I'm a Vista user, and I do not think we should get a bigger discount. It'll just anger the XP users... and it's not good business for Microsoft.

Vista really isn't bad compared to XP. I really prefer it.

This article is missing what appears to be an obvious and helpful workaround solution. My assumption is that all anyone has to do is upgrade their XP to Vista via DVD, but don't register/activate it. That will keep all your settings, programs, etc. Then Upgrade Vista to your retail purchased Windows 7, which you can activate normally.

I haven't tested this, but is there some reason this solution won't work to help XP users migrate everything Windows 7 (via an in-place Vista upgrade)?

Its a good concept, but in my experience an upgraded system is usually a little slower and slightly more buggy than a clean installed system. A double upgrade just seems to be begging for issues.

Not entirely. I suspect that the upgrade will keep your filesystem intact, but the old installation will simply be renamed to make way for the new one. That's how we get that "Windows.old" folder. Old files still there, but with a new OS and no carried over configuration.

I'm not sure but I don't think so. Vista and 7 use image based installers; they format your drive when you install them. The word upgrade as used here just means you can buy it for a reduced price because you own a previous product. It doesn't mean it will update your current installation and keep your files.

If and when I decide to upgrade to 7, I'll be doing a clean install anyway. I've had nothing but problems with upgrade installs (both XP and Vista). I'd rather take the time to do a clean install and once done ghost the install so in the future if all goes pear shaped, I can reset things back to zero (I also make an image with everything installed, just I find it useful having a completely clean image, just the OS and drivers with nothing else - well other then Ghost).

This is smart on Microsoft's part. They have all the XP to Vista upgrades that they are going to get (well almost all of them). This should get most of the users that stayed with XP to upgrade to Windows 7.

A refund for $125 for my OEM Copy of Vista would be great instead. I bought it from Newegg as soon as they posted it. Atleast I know I will not rush out and buy the new version of windows the same day as it comes out. I learned my lesson.

Huh? it's all the same price! all they are saying is the upgrade install will work for both Vista and XP installations. However, if your a student you can get it very cheap or if your at uni you might even be entitled to a free copy.

EDIT: After reading the article again, it seems to imply (to me at least) XP users *might* be getting a cheaper deal. It makes sense when you think about it, Vista users aren't the problem as MS know they will upgrade regardless. The XP users are the "problem", as these guys stuck to their guns and refused to upgrade to Vista (and got XP's support extended so they didn't need to upgrade - now that is dedication!), so MS needs to give them more incentive to ditch the aging OS for something newer and since there are so many of them, MS stands to make a massive profit from getting them to move of cause

I think Microsoft needs to either charge more for the option to upgrade from XP or remove it. At least a 50% mark-up. If not, simply file a class action lawsuit against them for a few billion.

bluarash said,
I think Microsoft needs to either charge more for the option to upgrade from XP or remove it. At least a 50% mark-up. If not, simply file a class action lawsuit against them for a few billion.

Uhm... why?

Looks like many people here are angry because they wasted money on Vista.
It's your own fault though. The upgrade will of course not be cheaper for Vista - also because of the reason that it would make XP users much less likely to upgrade to Win7, greatly hurting MS.

mocax said,
the messy part is transferring DRM licenses from XP to Win7

got a whole lot of CDs to burn.....

What the heck are you doing to necessitate this? I've got a lot of DRM licensed music through Zune Marketplace, and if I login I can listen to the song...no need to burn CDs lol.

Shadrack said,
What the heck are you doing to necessitate this? I've got a lot of DRM licensed music through Zune Marketplace, and if I login I can listen to the song...no need to burn CDs lol.


I don't have Zune because i'm not american and microsoft has no intention of expanding Zune to the rest of the world.
All my DRMs are from the "Play for Sure" days. The thing that Microsoft ditched a while back, and many of the stores i bought the music from are no longer around.

so yea, it'll be messy when Win7 beta expires and I've to reinstall Vista or Win7 final.....

mocax said,
I don't have Zune because i'm not american and microsoft has no intention of expanding Zune to the rest of the world.
All my DRMs are from the "Play for Sure" days. The thing that Microsoft ditched a while back, and many of the stores i bought the music from are no longer around.

so yea, it'll be messy when Win7 beta expires and I've to reinstall Vista or Win7 final.....

Why do people buy DRM music to begin with? Its the stupiest thing ever. I buy music online all the time and its good quality stuff not that 128 kps crap either. Buying means you are asking for it.

mocax said,
I don't have Zune because i'm not american and microsoft has no intention of expanding Zune to the rest of the world.
All my DRMs are from the "Play for Sure" days. The thing that Microsoft ditched a while back, and many of the stores i bought the music from are no longer around.

so yea, it'll be messy when Win7 beta expires and I've to reinstall Vista or Win7 final.....

"Play For Sure", damn I'm sorry. MS should provide you with DRM-free versions of your tracks. The only reason why my tracks from Zune Marketplace are DRM is because I use a subscription service. If I want a track sans-subscription I'll go through a non-DRM source.

Ah, so it's like the XP upgrade editions then? I always liked that system better - I just used my old Windows 98 disk to use the upgrade editions again and again and again...

tripleXit said,
I'd rather do a clean install, upgrading is like begging for trouble.

Fully agree. Upgrading an OS generally results in serious trouble with all sorts of problems, many of which can be very hard to track down.