Most Windows 7 upgrades will be destructive

Deciphering Windows 7 Upgrades: The Official Chart | Walt Mossberg | Mossblog | AllThingsDigital

Linked via OSNews, Walt Mossberg explains that upgrading to Windows 7 from Windows XP will mean wiping your hard drive clean, and that if you don’t use one or two specific versions of Vista which correspond to your version of Windows 7, you will also have to wipe your hard drive. This may mean that if you are using Home Premium and you install W7 Home Premium or Ultimate, you will still be able to upgrade, but not if you choose the Professional version. This is bizarre, as no other operating system has ever required a clean-slate upgrade. When upgrading Linux or changing from one brand to another, if you have a system and a data partition, you can just wipe the system partition and keep your data.

The prices of the new OS are a shock as well. The pre-order price of W7 in the UK is around £125, with Professional being £30 more. Among the features of W7 Professional is “Run many existing Windows XP productivity applications in Windows XP Mode”; so this means that Windows 7 will otherwise break backwards compatibility with XP? As for Ultimate, it offers BitLocker encryption and the ability to switch languages — something the standard version of Mac OS X offers anyway, and which might be necessary in a multi-lingual home environment where, say, the husband works in English and the wife in Urdu. We should not have to pay premium prices for something that is free in the competition. Besides, Vista is such a piece of garbage that Windows 7 should be a free upgrade for anyone with a genuine version of it.

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