Part 2: Microsoft Blocks XP-to-Windows 7 Beta Upgrades

The version of Windows 7 Beta 1 that Microsoft made available for download on its Technet site last Thursday does not support upgrades from systems running its Windows XP operating system. It does, however, permit upgrades from Vista SP1 to Windows 7.

A Microsoft spokesman said that no final decisions have yet been made about what will be included or not included in the generally available version of Windows 7, but that the company as a practice advises only clean installations of operating systems during the beta phase anyway.

“We’ve just been telling people like we always do, conduct a clean install. That’s the safest bet anyway,” the spokesman said. “It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.”

For now, the beta version of Windows 7 only permits upgrades from Vista SP1 — meaning there is at the moment no way to test or evaluate a straight XP-to-Windows 7 migration.

Microsoft announced late Wednesday night in Las Vegas that it was making its first beta version of its next generation desktop OS available via Technet and MSDN, and CEO Steve Ballmer said the general public would have access to the beta — for free– as of Friday. The beta will work through August of this year, giving virtually the entire market an opportunity to play around with it and evaluate Windows 7 before they have to pay for it.

Let me “make one thing perfectly clear” I DO NOT advise anyone download and install Windows 7 on a production machine. If you insist on testing this operating system do so on a machine you are willing to loose all the data on. BETA software is famous for being unstable – that’s because the BETA versions are released to the public so we – the people – can test it, crash and report the problems to Microsoft.

A note of caution: The initial upgrade to Windows 7 takes about 1 and 1/2 hours. If you attempt to upgrade a Vista PC and you haven’t yet installed SP 1 and all essential updates from Microsoft, the process could take an additional two hours or more.

More testing on Windows 7 will be needed to evaluate its security, network management and support for more applications and drivers. It remains to be seen, however, how the market will respond if Microsoft continues to deny an upgrade path from XP to Windows 7

For all of you daring, devil-may-care individuals – here’s the download link to Windows 7 BETA
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/beta-download.aspx
……Don’t say I didn’t warn you……. 🙂

For the rest of you, here a link to everything you wanted to know about Windows 7 but were afraid to ask:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/default.aspx

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