XP to Windows 7 Upgrade Promises to be a Hassle

Dennis Faas's picture

Many users are planning to skip Windows Vista and move straight into the more promising Windows 7 next year. However, the move from Windows XP to Windows 7 might prove to be a daunting hassle.

With Windows 7, Windows XP users won't be able to make an  easy "in-place upgrade" which allows one operating system to overwrite an old one while maintaining already installed applications and settings.

Rather, Windows XP users will have to jump through several additional hoops, including a "clean install" involving the backup of their old data, the deletion of everything XP, the installation of Windows 7, and then the reinstallation of all those old programs and the tinkering of settings in order to get them back to some semblance of personal satisfaction.

Officially, Microsoft has noted that there will be no "in-place upgrade" option for XP users, and has refused to state publicly why that is.

Security Concerns behind Mandatory "Clean Install"

Surprisingly, the Redmond-based software giant might not be suffering from a case of sour grapes. Though Microsoft is undoubtedly bitter about consumer hesitation to adopt Vista, there are several good reasons why users will need to wipe everything from an XP system before installing Windows 7. (Source: crn.com)

The first, as always, is security. Gartner analyst Michael Silver argues that certain viruses, spyware issues, or performance hogs could make the jump from an XP to a Windows 7 system if the user was to refuse the clean install. Silver doesn't believe the hassle will be as much of an issue for big business users, who tend to perform clean installs when upgrading their operating systems anyhow.

Thus, the loudest complaints will probably come from home users and small businesses who don't want to go through the time-consuming process of reinstalling necessary programs and fiddling with settings. Silver believes Microsoft doesn't have much choice in the matter, and everyone who plans on sticking with XP over Vista will have to abide. "Most users will be better off doing the clean install anyway," Silver said. (Source: pcworld.com)

Although the clean install is not particularly new to PC owners, it'll be a hassle for anyone deciding to make the jump from Apple -- which offers in-place upgrades for several earlier generations -- to a Windows 7 system. "This is an area -- efficiency, ease, and success of upgrade -- where Apple has an edge," Silver remarked.

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