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Like many of you i'm looking at windows 7. I've heard a lot about them wanting you to have an installed version of windows on your hard drive before being able to upgrade. Is this still the case?

Similarly i can't seem to come across OEM edition pricing. Has anyone any information on this?

Edit: By Upgrade i mean the upgrade version.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I recommend fresh-installs for major updates like this, but if you want to upgrade, the (ridiculously complex) upgrade matrix is available from Microsoft here:

Here's a summary:

Upgrades can only happen from Vista to 7, and only when upgrading to the same architecture (ie, 32-bit to 32-bit or 64-bit to 64-bit).

If you have Vista Home Basic or Home Premium, you can upgrade to 7 Home or 7 Ultimate. If you have Vista Business, you can upgrade to 7 Professional or 7 Ultimate. If you have Vista Ultimate, you can upgrade to 7 Ultimate.

Any other combination (switching 32-bit to 64-bit, upgrading from/to a combination not listed above, or upgrading from XP or prior) becomes a "Custom install" (ie, install from scratch).

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"Upgrading" requires a copy of Vista, just installing it can be done with a blank HDD. Generally it's better to install it fresh, but Upgrading keeps settings and programs installed.

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The OEM pricing is normally only released one the public release date, however phoning any local supplier should also answer the question.

The upgrade version does require an installed copy of Vista before it will work, during install if no upgradable copy of Vista is found the Upgrade option is disabled. I have not tried upgrading from XP.

MSDN Retail editions and VLP's however will Upgrade and Clean install irrelevant of the OS on the system.

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Just to be clear... an Upgrade Version will not work at all on a clean hard drive? – sblair Oct 14 '09 at 22:18

Just to chip in, do not upgrade from one OS to another. It'll probably work, but the experience is never as good as a fresh install particularly if the base OS has been in use for some time.

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It worked fine for me. It was not fast, but at the end of the upgrade everything was working fine. – alex Sep 3 '09 at 16:35

I upgraded my development laptop from Vista 64 to RC1 with no problems and have upgraded my wife's Tablet PC from Vista 64 Ultimate to Win7 64 Ultimate with no problems. The upgrade adviser was very good - it asked me to Deauthorize iTunes before upgrading and showed the OneCare installation would have to be removed before continuing. Several other individuals in my office have upgraded with no problems to report.

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Very cool it reminded you to deauthorize iTunes - I always forget to do that! – Jared Harley Sep 4 '09 at 19:00
Yeah - I was definitely impressed. A lot of polish in Windows 7. – Nicolas Webb Sep 11 '09 at 19:16

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