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...
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)...