Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Windows 7 Upgrade path

Your humble Devil would like to assure his readers that he would never dream of bashing Microsoft and their entirely brilliant operating system—after all, people who have been using pre-release copies tell me that Windows 7 is actually pretty good.

No, I am posting this merely as a public service to any of The Kitchen's readers who might be considering the upgrade to said version of Windows.

Via The Macalope, I see that Walt Mossberg asked Microsoft if they could provide him with an easy to understand chart showing which versions of Windows could be easily upgraded to Windows 7. As you will see from the chart that Microsoft sent to him, there are two main processes—Upgrade In Place and Custom Install.

I shall let Mossberg elaborate on what, precisely, Custom Install means.
All of the others, denoted by blue boxes, will require what Microsoft calls a “Custom Install,” also known as a “clean install” — a procedure Microsoft doesn’t even refer to as an “upgrade.” For most average, non-techie consumers whose PCs have a single hard disk, that will require a tedious, painful process with the following steps: temporarily relocating your personal files to an external drive or other computer, wiping your hard drive clean, then installing Windows 7, then moving your personal files back, then re-installing all of your programs from their original disks or download files, then reinstalling all of their updates and patches that may have been issued since the original installation files were released.

Great. Still, I imagine that it is only the older versions of Windows that will require this dramatic and tedious process to be undergone. Um...

Chart showing Windows 7 Upgrade Paths
Please note that this chart only shows the upgrade path for three of the most common versions of Windows 7—there will, in fact, be six versions (although one is only for sale in Developing Countries).

As I say, friends tell me that Windows 7 is actually a pretty good OS: your humble Devil would like to add that I hope that you all have lots of fun getting there.

P.S. Since I'm covering OS upgrades, I'll also briefly mention Apple's next version of Mac OS X. Snow Leopard will be released in September, priced at $29. It has been refined rather than added to: it adds a considerable number of new technologies and APIs in order to aid future development, but standard users will not see many new features (hence the low price).

Snow Leopard is designed to use fewer resources than its predecessor—it takes up half the hard drive space of the previous incarnation (about 6GB rather than 12GB). However, it will be Intel-only—which is how I imagine they have been able to cut down so much on the drive space required.

UPDATE: Via Techcrunch, it seems that someone has wittily produced a Mac OS X Upgrade Path Chart...


Most amusing (although, as I pointed out above, re: Intel processors, not entirely true)...

23 comments:

James Higham said...

I am writing this on my MacBook Pro and when it eventually dies, I will continue to write on my Mac whatever it is.

No need for anything but MacOSX or higher.

End of story.

Kay Tie said...

A chunk of the disk space saved by Snow Leopard comes from dropping a bazillion obsolete printer drivers (I believe it's a gigabyte saved from just these).

SoldDownTheRiver said...

I'd be interested to read more about the Micro$oft-like pursuit by Apple of independent computer maker, Psystar. Essentially, they buy MACOSX from Apple and other legitimate sources and make it work on their non-Apple Intel-based hardware. Needless to say the hardware is considerably cheaper than Apple's and, in many cases, more powerful. Apple have been pursuing the matter through the US courts trying to prevent the company from selling their software with the Psystar machines. Psystar ended up filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection but have recently announced that they will emerge from that. The action/s continue.

There are also other companies selling alternatives to Apple hardware.

I run a mix of Apple (MACOSX), Linux and Windows machines. I use them all and find them all much of a muchness. I love the 'build quality' of my G5, but it comes at a significant cost premium.

Devil's Kitchen said...

SDTR,

"I'd be interested to read more about the Micro$oft-like pursuit by Apple of independent computer maker, Psystar. Essentially, they buy MACOSX from Apple and other legitimate sources and make it work on their non-Apple Intel-based hardware. Needless to say the hardware is considerably cheaper than Apple's and, in many cases, more powerful. Apple have been pursuing the matter through the US courts trying to prevent the company from selling their software with the Psystar machines. Psystar ended up filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection but have recently announced that they will emerge from that. The action/s continue."

Your summary missed out how Psystar broke the OS EULA—or "contract"—by hacking the OS to run on non-Apple machines and therefore deserves to be taken to court and absolutely fucking raped.

Apple makes its money on the hardware: Psystar is directly attacking Apple's revenue stream using Apple's own software and breaking the terms of use of that software—I would pursue Psystar pretty fucking vigorously too.

DK

Anonymous said...

This is the reason that most people will only "upgrade" to the latest version of windows as part of buying a new PC. My advice to anyone who asks, is don’t upgrade the OS without upgrading the hardware, that way you wont (or shouldn’t, vista capable my arse) end up with something that the PC cannot handle.

Also thanks to the EU there will be 12 versions of windows 7 in Europe, as each 6 versions will also be available in a browser and media player free flavour. But In practice there will only be 2 versions, Home premium and professional.

I think the comparison between OS-X upgrades and windows upgrades is an interesting one, Apple tend to release lots (9 versions over 10 years) of slightly improved versions and charge the customer the full (but reasonable) price for each one. Where as Microsoft tend to do fewer versions (3 versions over the same period, excluding server versions and counting all ‘flavours’ of a single release as a single version) charging significantly more for each one, but then provide 2 or 3 free upgrades in the form of service packs, each of which contains almost as many new features as a full release of OS-X.

Anonymous said...

You also forgot to add thanks to to the EU users in the UK will not be able to upgrade from old versions of Windows to Windows 7. Due to the EU banning Windows from pre-installing IE in the operating system, users will have to do a clean install of Windows 7 in the EU.

SoldDownTheRiver said...

DK,

The Apple/Psystar case partly revolves around whether or not the clause in the EULA to which you refer is legal or not. In February, Psystar won a modified abuse of copyright claim against Apple on that very point. It has yet to be finally decided, however.

I would ask, would it be right if Sony were to say in their licences for DVD/BluRay movies that they could only be played on Sony hardware? Or would that be an abuse of their market position and anti-competitive?

Another Apple-like clone maker, PearC in Germany, and consequently in the whole of the EU, by extension, seem to be able to sell a similar Mac clone with MacOSX pre-loaded without similar fears of Apple coming after them, due to an alleged legal requirement in German law that requires any such EULA to be pre-read and signed...

You would think that if MacOSX is such an excellent piece of kit (and I am not disputing that it is nice), that Apple would be happy to sell it for installation on other people's machines - just like Microshaft does with Windows (on Apple-built hardware, as well as machines from a multitude of other manufacturers) at a similar-to-Windows price, or indeed more. Actually, the price is currently not dissimilar, anyway!

That way, we could have some real competition out there.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Windows XP done properly.

Devil's Kitchen said...

SDTR,

"You would think that if MacOSX is such an excellent piece of kit (and I am not disputing that it is nice), that Apple would be happy to sell it for installation on other people's machines - just like Microshaft does with Windows (on Apple-built hardware, as well as machines from a multitude of other manufacturers) at a similar-to-Windows price, or indeed more."

As you are no doubt aware, Apple licensed the Mac OS in the mid/late 90s. It was a complete disaster and brought the company close to bankruptcy.

Unix, Power Computing, Motorola and others built clone machines more cheaply than Apple, and thus heavily cannabalised Apple's hardware sales.

As I keep pointing out, Apple makes its money on the hardware, not the software—as such, it isn't really a competitor to Microsoft.

"I would ask, would it be right if Sony were to say in their licences for DVD/BluRay movies that they could only be played on Sony hardware? Or would that be an abuse of their market position and anti-competitive?"

It would be a silly thing to do because the studios would not bother investing in producing Blu-Ray disks (this is, incidentally, similar to the factor that destroyed BetaMax videos—VHF did the deal with the studios).

But that is irrelevant: if Sony wanted to ensure that Blu-Ray only played on their hardware, they would be perfectly entitled to do so. It would be foolish, but they would be entirely entitled.

I don't know enough about the Psystar legals, but I shall have more of a dig around. However, as far as I am concerned, the EULA constitutes a contract and you cannot just break the terms of a contract when you feel like it.

You certainly cannot steal a product owned by someone else and use it for your own commercial gain when the EULA specifically says that you should not.

It is, in my opinion, theft.

DK

Anonymous said...

From past experience, upgrading is a nightmare, and can create a right mess. Better just a clean install.

As for Windows 7: it works really well, is a lot snappier than Vista, and even worked fine on a 5 year old laptop, wasn't really any noticeable speed difference from XP.

Incidentally, Win7 takes about 4GB with a minimal install.

Obsidian said...

7's pretty good, I'm going to have a busy time in Nov as I'll be updating my Leopard/XP iMac to fresh installs of Snow Leopard/7, assuming the bootcamp drivers are ready then...

That'll be about a week of software installs however :wince:

mongoose said...

I have installed Win7 using both the methods. The complete wipe and new install was on an old XP machine on which I had installed, idiot that I am, the Unheavenly Vista. It went very easily and the old box is now back to being acceptably fast. (VPinball on a wide screen - yay!)

I then decided to uprgade-over-old-OS on my shiny, new Vista machine. That too went just fine. There is however a lot of crap left in the Windows folders for the over-install upgrade. Space taken by Windows folder and subs is currently 11Gb.

It's much the best version of Windoze for years. Never has it fallen over, though I am sure that MS will find a way of screwing it up in due course.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking at this and not understanding what your problem is. For anyone with a modicum of computer sense, the whole thing look like it's extremely straightforward - hell, you can even keep your current OS and install W7 on a partitioned drive without any of the usual faffing about.

I'm afraid this is another one of those situations that underlines the difference between people who know how to use computers and people who, being terrified of Teh Buttonz, opt for Macs.

The Mac: it's underpowered, overpriced and can't be upgraded but at least people with Down's Syndrome can use it.

Blue Eyes said...

DK m two thoughts:

1. as someone said above most users never upgrade to a new operating system on the same machine

2. if windows 7 is a lot better than vista and vista is reknowned for being shit surely you want the whole thing taken out so ou can start again?

Devil's Kitchen said...

Anon,

"I'm looking at this and not understanding what your problem is. For anyone with a modicum of computer sense, the whole thing look like it's extremely straightforward - hell, you can even keep your current OS and install W7 on a partitioned drive without any of the usual faffing about."

Yes, that's not a problem for me—or anyone else computer savvy.

But do you really think that the vast majority of WinTel users even know what a partition is? I severely doubt it.

"I'm afraid this is another one of those situations that underlines the difference between people who know how to use computers and people who, being terrified of Teh Buttonz, opt for Macs."

*yawn*

Most (old-time) Mac users are actually pretty savvy about their machines, due to the fact they have always had to support their own machines—most IT departments are hopelessly Windows-centric.

But why turn this into another tedious Mac/PC debate?

Blue Eyes,

"1. as someone said above most users never upgrade to a new operating system on the same machine"

Maybe, maybe not. The Mac that I use at work (which is my six year old G4) has gone through several operating systems: OS9, Mac OS 10, Mac OS 10.1, Mac OS 10.4 and Mac OS 10.5. Each of them added benfits that made it worth upgrading, and it's still running quite nicely.

Now, it may be that PCs are more disposable—or that PC users, in general, have fewer software requirements than myself.

"2. if windows 7 is a lot better than vista and vista is reknowned for being shit surely you want the whole thing taken out so ou can start again?"

Maybe. Except that you could upgrade a machine running Mac OS 10 to Mac OS 10.5 (a pretty major upgrade) without having to delete everything off. Surely the install process should do all of the heavy lifting for you...?

DK

Anonymous said...

Most mac users, if they want to upgrade to 10.6 will need a new computer. This is rather more onerous than installing Windows 7, which after all will run on the vast majority of PCs still in use.

A $29 upgrade is rather moot if it won't install on a machine purchased for $2000 3 years ago.

SDTR said...

DK,

You misunderstand my point about Sony licensing their DVD/BluRay's for use on Sony hardware only. I was referring to the software on the DVD/Blu-Ray media (the films etc.) that Sony produce: They are the film studio as well as the manufacturers of the hardware that plays those DVDs and Blu-Ray disks. As such they are analogous to Apple. They produce both the software and the hardware upon which it plays. It would be an abuse of their position in the market place were they to create such a limiting license - although it is conceivable that they could. In many ways, Apple has fewer competitors than Sony in the software field and so the 'anti-trust' imperative is even greater.

I hear you say that Apple make most of their money from hardware rather than the software. That could be because they have failed to exploit their software. The incremental cost of production of software is negligible when compared to the income it could provide.

My understanding is that Apple's earlier adventure into licensing their products to third parties was more to do with their hardware architecture than to do with their software, so the current situation is not the same. Apple are basically using the same technology as Windows machines use. Their hardware architecture cannot be licensed as it is used by everyone else and was used by them well before Apple switched to Intel.

Another point yet to be explored, incidentally, is that it is reported that a significant element of MacOSX (particularly the underlying POSIX compliant OS) is open source (and free) and/or based upon the development work of other entities. As such, there may be an argument that it is perfectly legitimate to perform hacking to get the software to run on non-Apple hardware, based on the licences under which the underlying software is released.

I shall not be buying another copy of MacOSX, partly because both my G4 laptop, and my G5 are PowerPC machines and as you know, Snow Leopard will not run on anything other than Intel hardware. I cannot afford to buy new Apple hardware to run a new OS when the machines I have are still usable and serve their purpose. I'd love to be able to run MacOS on my standard (currently Windoze) PC. I'd buy it if I could. I would think that if Apple were to grasp the nettle then the software could contribute to and become a major part of their profits. As it is their penetration is only about 4.5% - that leaves a hell of a lot of space for expansion.

They have been successful with iTunes - it does not only run under MacOS on Apple hardware. They are giving that software away and still making money on it (the music and films etc.).

I do not have shares in Microsoft, Apple - nor Google for that matter.

SDTR

Ian B said...

Anyone who hasn't got their "personal files" on a backup obviously doesn't much care about losing them anyway :)

Me, since I care about my "personal files", all my data is on a separate RAID pair, with daily backups to a USB drive. Boot drives are for apps, not data.

DK, on your attitude in the article about "not daring to criticise Microsoft" I think you're suffering from this common perception among Mac Users that PC Users are like you guys; like, we're fans of Microsoft who will take personal umbrage at critcism, who go and wait in line excitedly for new Windowses and spend our idle hours creating mockups of imaginary Microsoft products and stuff like that.

PC users aren't like that. The computer is just a tool we use, there's no fanboys. We just enjoy taking the piss out of Mac Users, for the same reason as it's fun taking the piss out of other cults like scientology. The two groups of users aren't the same.

Also-

As you are no doubt aware, Apple licensed the Mac OS in the mid/late 90s. It was a complete disaster and brought the company close to bankruptcy.

Unix, Power Computing, Motorola and others built clone machines more cheaply than Apple, and thus heavily cannabalised Apple's hardware sales.


It's called the free market, DK. It's why hardly anybody buys an IBM PC made by IBM any more- bad for IBM, good for customers. The PC evolved to offer more bang for the buck than the Mac precisely because of competition between vendors. And that's why the Mac evolved into a "lifestyle" marketed product at the luxury end of the market. You're paying for the exclusivity, that's it.

Devil's Kitchen said...

IanB,

"You're paying for the exclusivity, that's it."

No, I'm not. Or, rather, I am paying for the material benefits that that exclusivity brings to me—something that I consider worth the price (which, as I've pointed out before, is not really any higher than comparably-speched PCs).

DK

Anonymous said...

which, as I've pointed out before, is not really any higher than comparably-speched PCs

That is a blatant lie!!!

First lets look at the specs and price for a 20" IMac 2.66

2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB memory
320GB hard drive
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M
Mac OSX 10.5
£949

Now lets look at a similarly speced PC and Price(I use the word similarly loosely)

Intel® Core™ 2 Quad-Core Q8300 Processor (2.5GHz, 4MB cache, 1333MHz FSB)

21.5in S2209W Full HD Widescreen Black UK/Irish (1920 x 1080)

512MB ATI® Radeon™ HD 4670 graphics card

6144MB Dual Channel DDR2 800MHz [2x2048 + 2x1024] Memory

1TB (7200rpm) SATA Hard Drive

DVD+/-RW Drive (read/write CD & DVD)

£699 Including VAT and Shipping


Apples nearest comparable hardware spec the 24" Imac 3.06 pings in at £1799, and I'm sure I can find a 24" monitor for the PC costing less than £1100


http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/desktop-studio-mini?c=uk&l=en&s=dhs&cs=ukdhs1&ref=dthp

http://store.apple.com/uk/browse/home/shop_mac/family/imac?mco=MTI4MzM

assegai mike said...

Microsoft Change of Plan: Breaking news:

http://www.server-management.co.uk/news/Microsoft_abandons_EU_Windows_plan

Anonymous said...

Ubuntu Linux upgrade step - "System" menu -> click on upgrade button. Job done. Cost £0.

Anonymous said...

"I'm looking at this and not understanding what your problem is. For anyone with a modicum of computer sense, the whole thing look like it's extremely straightforward - hell, you can even keep your current OS and install W7 on a partitioned drive without any of the usual faffing about.""

You don't seem to understand the point. I CAN do all of this stuff but I run my own business and when I can be generating 100s of dollars an hour in fees to pay my secretaries, creditors and myself, why the hell would I want to spend hours playing with my computer to achieve things that my Mac does automatically? After spending literally 3 hours googling a workaround to install a hard drive on my Win laptop, playing with registry files... I gave up PCs for good. I reasoned that I could have billed $1000 if I had been working...and bought myself a new laptop instead of a new hard drive! Needless to say it just plugged into my Macbook and worked...