Microsoft: Please Don't Upgrade Win 7 Beta to RC

Are you running Windows 7 Beta and can’t wait to upgrade to the Release Candidate? Microsoft would like you not to do that.

In the latest Engineering Windows 7 blog post, the developer team is imploring those currently running the beta to not upgrade to the Release Candidate when it is available, but instead either go back to their previous Vista install if possible, or a completely fresh install.

The Windows 7, sympathizing with current users of the OS, wrote, “We know that means reinstalling, recustomizing, reconfiguring, and so on.  That is a real pain.  The reality is that upgrading from one pre-release build to another is not a scenario we want to focus on because it is not something real-world customers will experience.”

While this is a clear inconvenience for current users of Windows 7 beta, the purpose of releasing the operating system to testers is for exactly that -- testing. Data on how Windows 7 behaves during an upgrade from the beta to the RC is largely useless to Microsoft since that’s not an activity that would be common for the final product. Data regarding the upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7, however, is hugely important.

“A big part of the beta process is making sure we get as much ‘real world’ coverage of scenarios and experiences as possible and monitor the telemetry of those experience overall,” wrote the Windows 7 team. “One of the most challenging areas to engineer is the process of upgrading one release of Windows to another. When you think about it, it is the one place where at one time we need to run a ton of code to basically ‘know’ everything about a system before performing the upgrade.”

For the betterment of the Windows 7 final experience, the team implored, “As an extended member of the development team and a participant in the Beta program that has helped us so much, we want to ask that you experience real-world setup and provide us real-world telemetry.”

Before current users of the beta let out a heavy sigh at the task they may be faced with, Microsoft realizes that people own PCs rather than other platforms because it gives them freedom of choice. For this reason, Microsoft is detailing method that will permit the upgrade of the beta to the RC when it is released. Although it’s not recommended, and Microsoft warns of some “oddities” that may crop up after a beta upgrade, it’s there if the user must have it. Read about the procedure here.

Kudos to Microsoft for both respecting the its current testers and looking after the quality of Windows 7 final.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • thedipper
    I'm not sure why everyone is posting news on this, because it makes plenty of sense.

    They want to test the upgrade process, and most of the userbase won't be upgrading from Win7.
  • SecksPanther
    +1 to thedipper there.

    1.) It's not really newsworthy and seems more like someone submitted this article just to meet a deadline or a quota. *snicker*
    2.) Beta -> RC will be a rare occasion. Microsoft has millions and millions of customers, and maybe 0.000001% are running the beta. Yeah, I totally made that number up. But you know what I mean, guys.
  • jsloan
    i agree, doing a full install is the way to go. doing an upgrade can result it problems. i'm doing a full install. i know no one cares and no one wants to hear about it. ;-)
  • thedipper
    We -know- Win7-to-Win7 upgrades work just fine, personally I've done 5-6 of them.

    Additionally, users CAN change data in a .ini to allow the RC to upgrade from the beta versions.
  • deltatux
    Makes sense, this is why I generally tell people not to run pre-release OS as their primary OS.

  • tayb
    Yeah I'm just going to go from 7000 to RC.
  • jhansonxi
    joeman42True, pre-production versions should always be treated this way. But, I'm sure some Linux- and Mac-ophiles will use this as yet another reason to bash Microsoft anyways.Trolling doesn't make the other trolls stay away. The same methods for upgrade testing are used by most Linux pre-release testers. Probably applies to OS X testers as well.
  • outacontrolpimp
    thedipper Users CAN change data in a .ini to allow the RC to upgrade from the beta versions.
    Wait, can you upgrade from 7000 straight to RC without reinstall, just a upgrade?
  • my_name_is_earl
    Everyone who have tried Windows 7 beta on their machine should already know to reinstalled the Full Windows 7 version ya think?
  • buzznut
    when's the rc coming out again?