Upgrade Guide to Windows Vista

Dennis Faas's picture

As Microsoft hurries to release the next version of Windows before its (rather tentative) January 2007 release date, a recent announcement by the company has an "upgrade breakdown" for each of its six versions of Vista.

The most important part of this development is the XP upgrade, which allows certain editions of XP to be supplemented instead of completely replaced by Vista's technology.

In short: the five versions of Windows XP, including Windows XP Professional, XP Home, XP Media Center, XP Tablet PC, XP Professional x64, and additionally, Windows 2000, all require *different* installation methods in order to upgrade existing systems.

The upcoming Vista editions, from Ultimate to Business to Home Premium, and finally, Home Basic, each fit the pre-exisitng formats in different ways. Owners of XP Home will find an in-place upgrade option in any of the four Vista versions, and those with XP Professional will have similar luck with the Business and Ultimate editions -- but not Home Premium or Home Basic. (Source: arstechnica.com)

However, this is not to say that an upgrade is not possible for XP x64 and Windows 2000 owners. It simply means they cannot so easily upgrade while keeping their original settings in place -- they must do a clean install. (Source: microsoft-watch.com)

Just think:

  • If you have XP Home, buy whatever version of Vista you want.
  • If you have XP Professional or Tablet PC, keep to Business or Ultimate.
  • If you have XP Media Center, keep to Home Premium or Ultimate.
  • If you have XP Professional x64 or Windows 2000, you'll be starting all over. Lucky you.

Phew. Does Microsoft ever make it easy on us to cover these things? For an easy-to-read graph of the upgrade scheme, check out the arstechnica article at:


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