Running XP? You can't upgrade to Windows 7

Windows 7
Microsoft has confirmed there will be no upgrade path for XP

Microsoft has confirmed it isn't providing an upgrade path for Windows XP to Windows 7.

The not unexpected confirmation came in a new post on the Engineering Windows 7 blog outlining the latest developments with the new OS as it moves swiftly towards release.

In the post - signed 'Windows 7 Team' - the subject of XP upgrading is broached, but it admits that, actually, an upgrade option has never been part of the plan.

"We realized at the start of this project that the 'upgrade' from XP would not be an experience we think would yield the best results. There are simply too many changes in how PCs have been configured (applets, hardware support, driver model, etc) that having all of that support carry forth to Windows 7 would not be nearly as high quality as a clean install. This is something many of you know and already practice."

To be fair to Microsoft, an upgrade isn't the best way to install a new OS - especially one so different from XP as Windows 7. After all, we're talking eight years since XP first hit the streets. Added to which, many users will simply look to get Windows 7 when they buy a new machine anyway.

However, Microsoft, does say that the installation process does "provide support for moving files and settings and will prompt at setup time, but applications will need to be reinstalled." Fair enough. "We know that for a set of customers this trade off seems less than perfect, but we think the upfront time is well worth it."

If you're one of those "set of customers", we'd love to hear what you think in the comments below - or email us.

Running the Windows 7 beta already? We've got more from Microsoft's latest Windows 7 announcement.


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.