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Windows 7 upgrade options

Microsoft has finally set a release date for Windows 7 – October 22, 2009!

With the release coming up in just a few months, some of our clients have been asking about upgrade options. Most PCs that are shipping now include a coupon or a code to upgrade to Windows 7 when it is released. Depending on what version of Windows you are currently running, the upgrade can be pretty simple, or could require a format and reload of your PC.

Here’s the bad news: If you’re running Windows XP, there is no easy upgrade path for you. You’ll have to locate all of your software CDs, backup all of your personal files, and then perform a fresh install.

Windows Vista users have it a little bit easier, with most versions of Vista compatible with their Windows 7 counterpart for purposes of doing an in place upgrade. An in place upgrade means you won’t have to reinstall all of your programs – Windows 7 will install over top of and replace your existing Windows Vista installation.

Microsoft has provided a chart that helps with figuring out the best options for you to move to Windows 7. Note that only where you see a green box are you able to retain your installed programs and configurations. Any other situation (the blue boxes) will require a format and reload.