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 Post subject: More Windows 7 upgrade questions
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:24 am 
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Scott,

I want to offer windows 7 upgrades to my customers. If I get the OEM version and put it into the optical drive, will it detect that the computer already has Vista on it and give me an option to perform either an upgrade or fresh install or does performing an upgrade require a special "Upgrade" version of Windows?

(I realize that if the customer has XP they will need a fresh install)


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 Post subject: Re: More Windows 7 upgrade questions
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:44 am 
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There are many limitations for Windows 7 upgrades. First let's make clear the difference between an upgrade *license* vs. an upgrade *installation*. The former describes something you can purchase, the latter describes a method of installation.

Licenses are defined as OEM, Upgrade (retail), and Full (retail), while installations are either clean (from scratch) or upgrade. Note that *any* of the licenses (OEM, Upgrade, or Full) can be installed via either clean or upgrade install methods, however upgrade installs have several limitations:

    You cannot upgrade install Windows 7 over XP.
    You cannot upgrade install 64-bit Windows 7 over 32-bit Vista.
    You cannot upgrade install 32-bit Windows 7 over 64-bit Vista.

    Windows 7 upgrade installs are further limited to the following Editions:

      Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Home Premium
      Vista Business to Windows 7 Professional
      Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Ultimate

So, using your scenario, say you have a customer that brings in a system with 32-bit Vista Home Premium (probably the most common version you will encounter), who wants to upgrade to Windows 7. In that case you can purchase any of the following licenses and install 32-bit Windows 7 Home Premium over the existing 32-bit Vista Home Premium in a direct upgrade installation:


Of these, the OEM license is the cheapest, so that would normally be the best choice. However the Upgrade or Full licenses include both 32-bit and 64-bit versions (you could install 64-bit versions via a clean install now or in the future), and are legally transferrable (can be moved to another system), whereas Microsoft considers OEM versions as forever "married" to the system (motherboard) they are first installed on.

While I normally purchase OEM licenses, I almost *never* recommend doing upgrade installs. If my customer came in with 32-bit Vista Home Premium, I'd probably sell them Windows 7 Professional 64-bit - OEM, which would have to be installed via the clean install method.

Note that despite how the licensing and such works, there are basically only two install DVDs, one 32-bit version and one 64-bit version, each of which contains all of the editions, and which will work for either clean or upgrade installs.

One thing I haven't figured out is exactly how the OEM product keys work. For example, can I purchase a Windows 7 Pro 32-bit OEM license, and use that key to install a 64-bit version? (or vice versa?) What I'm saying is that Upgrade or Full license keys *do* work with either (both) 32-bit or 64-bit installs, however I'm not sure the same is true for OEM versions. If anybody can verify that either way, please let me know. Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: More Windows 7 upgrade questions
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:09 pm 
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Scott wrote:
....If my customer came in with 32-bit Vista Home Premium, I'd probably sell them Windows 7 Professional 64-bit - OEM, ....

One thing I haven't figured out is exactly how the OEM product keys work. For example, can I purchase a Windows 7 Pro 32-bit OEM license, and use that key to install a 64-bit version? (or vice versa?) What I'm saying is that Upgrade or Full license keys *do* work with either (both) 32-bit or 64-bit installs, however I'm not sure the same is true for OEM versions. ....


1. I am curious as to why you would prefer Pro over Home Premium in Win7. I don't see paying extra for Pro for almost everybody. What desirable features does Home Premium lack that Pro provides that makes it worth the $50+ extra?

2. Thank god I am not the only one confusedby the licensing...I assume nobody still has EULAs for the versions?


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 Post subject: Re: More Windows 7 upgrade questions
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:01 pm 
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Quote:
...What desirable features does Home Premium lack that Pro provides that makes it worth the $50+ extra?

Note that the difference is only around $40 between OEM versions of Windows 7 Pro vs. Home Premium). The following features are included in Windows 7 Pro, which I feel make it a worthwhile expense over Home Premium:


I must add that I think Microsoft is completely stupid for releasing multiple editions of Windows, there should be only one. For more information about which Editions of Windows 7 are intentionally crippled, see the "Windows 7 SKU Plan" presentation, it's loaded with entertaining marketspeak. <g> Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: More Windows 7 upgrade questions
 Post Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:40 am 
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Scott,

Why would you recommend installing 64 bit Windows 7 when the customer brings in a 32 bit Vista system? Are 64 bit OS's pretty much mainstream now? What if he has his computer connected to an old printer with 32 bit drivers, does Vista/7 include 64 bit drivers for pretty much everything out there?



Quote: "However the Upgrade or Full licenses include both 32-bit and 64-bit versions (you could install 64-bit versions via a clean install now or in the future)"

Does this mean the Upgrade or Full licenses come with 2 product keys, one for 32 bit installation and one for 64 bit installation (or) does it come with just 1 product key that allows you to choose between the 32 and 64 bit versions at the beginning of the installation?


BTW, you might add 1 thing to the list in your last post: 7 Pro allows the use of 2 physical processors on the Motherbaord. I know that's not a big deal but as long as you are spending money on an OS you may as well prepare for any possible "aggressive" builds in the future without having to upgrade your OS:)


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 Post subject: Re: More Windows 7 upgrade questions
 Post Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:37 am 
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Randy wrote:
Does this mean the Upgrade or Full licenses come with 2 product keys, one for 32 bit installation and one for 64 bit installation (or) does it come with just 1 product key that allows you to choose between the 32 and 64 bit versions at the beginning of the installation?
I recently installed a full retail Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit. The disc I received contained *only* 32-bit software so I used a disc containing a 64-bit copy of Windows 7 Ultimate and used the "32-bit key" and didn't receive a single complaint from the online activation. The system runs fine and I am able to use Microsofts update service without a problem.

So, yes, the key should work for either version. This was also a RTM version so I can safely say this will work come launch day.

-Evan


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 Post subject: Re: More Windows 7 upgrade questions
 Post Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:38 am 
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Quote:
Why would you recommend installing 64 bit Windows 7 when the customer brings in a 32 bit Vista system?

Because I feel that Win7 is the first mainstream 64-bit OS, and the perfect catalyst for the transition to 64-bit computing. If the system in question doesn't truly support 64-bit operation, then I'd recommend they upgrade to Windows XP instead. <g>

Plus, Windows 7 Pro and Ultimate Editions include "XP Mode", which will allow running older 16-bit software (one of the main drawbacks to a 64-bit OS).

Quote:
What if he has his computer connected to an old printer with 32 bit drivers...

Then either they will have to get a new printer, or by (my) definition the system in question (which includes peripherals such as printers) doesn't truly support 64-bit operation.

Quote:
...does Vista/7 include 64 bit drivers for pretty much everything out there?

No, but most companies are producing 64-bit drivers for hardware sold over the last couple of years.

Quote:
...(or) does it come with just 1 product key that allows you to choose between the 32 and 64 bit versions at the beginning of the installation?

Yes.

Quote:
BTW, you might add 1 thing to the list in your last post: 7 Pro allows the use of 2 physical processors on the Motherbaord...

Added (thanks). Also added support for 192GiB RAM (vs. 16GiB in Home Premium). Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: More Windows 7 upgrade questions
 Post Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:59 am 
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Scott wrote:
If the system in question doesn't truly support 64-bit operation, then I'd recommend they upgrade to Windows XP instead. <g>
Haha. Scott has no love for Vista and for some reason that makes me laugh everytime.

You could always add a chapter in URWindows for Vista that says "proceed to next chapter..." <g>

-Evan


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 Post subject: Re: More Windows 7 upgrade questions
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 1:39 pm 
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Thanks Scott,

I was planning to buy the 32 bit 7 Pro version but I would probably regret it later. I'm getting the 64 instead since you feel like it will probably be mainstream in a year or two.


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 Post subject: Re: More Windows 7 upgrade questions
 Post Posted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 4:49 pm 
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Randy, 64bit is already mainstream. Over the past 2 years I've seen a ton of pcs and laptops for sale with 64 bit Vista and 4GB or more of ram, just as a basic retail system. I'm talking from retail outlets like Best Buy, and even Wal-Mart.


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