Windows 7 — Downgradable But Not Upgradable

windows7Just to let you know upfront here, we are talking about upgrading to Windows 7 from our old-time favorite Windows XP. 

In my post last week I got you all excited about being able to downgrade from Windows 7 to Windows XP if you ever find a need for it — woo hoo! 

Unfortunately those of you who planned on upgrading directly to Windows 7 from XP are going to be quite disappointed. I am going to crush your hopes and dreams now … please don’t hate me for it, I’m just the messenger.

Microsoft confirmed last week that this type of upgrade will not be available.  Here is a quote from the Engineering Windows 7 blog:

“… many have asked about upgrading from Windows XP. There’s no change here to the plan as has been discussed on many forums. We realized at the start of this project that the “upgrade” from XP would not be an experience we think would yield the best results. There are simply too many changes in how PCs have been configured (applets, hardware support, driver model, etc.) that having all of that support carry forth to Windows 7 would not be nearly as high quality as a clean install. This is something many of you know and already practice. We do provide support for moving files and settings and will prompt at setup time, but applications will need to be reinstalled. We know that for a set of customers this tradeoff seems less than perfect, but we think the upfront time is well worth it.”

Should we be mad at Microsoft for doing this?  I don’t think so. Here is why I think this is actually a good thing. Can any one of you tell me if all your upgrades worked and functioned perfectly? I have worked in technical support for many years and I must say that every time we did an upgrade from one OS to another, there was always something that did not work right, sooner or later caused a problem, or flat out failed to work.

Sure, you can do an upgrade of an OS and deal with all the problems, but c’mon — this is not what you want to do, right? You want our OS to work perfectly with all available functionality.

Throughout my IT career I found that a clean install of any operating system works a million times better.  In short, it gives us a lot less headaches.  All your applications seem to work a lot faster too.  You also get a chance to properly upgrade your hardware requirements for your new OS; add more RAM, add more hard drive space, get a better video card or maybe … even get a brand new computer!  Wouldn’t that be a great treat — having a brand new computer for our new Windows 7?  It’s like Christmas all over again. (*wink *wink Scott Skinger – Gosia needs a new computer for her Windows 7) :)

So, don’t get too sad and don’t flame Microsoft for not allowing this upgrade. I think they are actually doing us a favor.  We still have an option to downgrade to Windows XP if they fail to deliver with the new OS, right?

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