A New and Improved Windows 7 Upgrade Chart

Those of you still running on Windows XP will have to do a clean install of Windows 7 if you wish to move to the new and shiny OS this fall. If you're using Windows Vista, however, you have a decent chance of being able to do an in-place upgrade. Of course, the ease of that depends on the version you're running and the one that you wish to install, which leads to an upgrade-compatibility chart.

The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg received a compatibility chart from Microsoft, plotting out each possible upgrade path from a previous version of Windows to the upcoming release, but unfortunately the chart he received was unnecessarily complicated and convoluted.

Fortunately, ZDNet blogger Ed Bott took it upon himself to fix the chart into something infinitely more sensible and readable, which is included below.


Which upgrade path will you be taking?

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.
  • kawininjazx
    Fresh install for me, I'm gonna get Home Premium. It's always a good time to reload windows.
  • duckmanx88
    i'm just going to keep enjoying vista until I buy a new PC. I don't want to spend $50-$100 on whats just a few improvements on Vista. please prove to me what drastic changes you saw from Vista of right now to Windows 7.
  • Aoster87
    I wish I could upgrade to the OEM Windows 7 straight from the RC =/
  • starsurfer56
    Any benefits to doing a clean install vs. upgrade when going from vista ultimate64 to win7 ultimate 64? other than just keeping my files...
  • zelannii
    No mention on upgrading from EE to any version... :( gonna have to do some digging.

    Either way I'm likely going from 32bit Vista to 64bit on 7, so clean install is required, but I have a few other machines I'll likely upgrade from Vista or XP to Premium ed of 7.

    Fortunately, I'm an action pack subscriber, so I get Windows 7, Office 2010, and more (10 copies of each, 1 copy of Ultimate) for free :D

    That $300 a year is REALLY paying off...
  • ozric
    According to the chart, a Windows Vista user will not be able to do a clean install to Windows 7 Ultimate, Is this the case ? Will there be an option to install either way for Ultimate users ?
  • Firehead2k
    "complicated and convoluted" vs. "infinitely more sensible and readable"
    Seriously, wtf. Did you actually take a look at the original and the derivative? The difference is the derivative doesn't make a distinction between 32bit and 64it Versions, and clusters the blocks together.
    Thats it.
  • fausto
    fresh install for me, don't know the differences between the editions....anyone have an article discussing this?
    i'm going 64 bit for sure though...use all my ram for once
  • eklipz330
    damn so i cant upgrade from RC? wth..i dont want to spend an unnecessary amount on an OS...
  • marraco
    stupidly copmplex. more free food for "I´m PC I´m mac" stupidity.