This is unbelievable. It’s actually quite obnoxious. It is the official Windows 7 upgrade chart from Microsoft. Moving or upgrading from one OS to another is supposed to be an easy task. One company that gets this right is Apple. When a new version of OS X comes out, a Mac customer simply goes to a store, picks up a single copy of the new OS, and downloads it to his or her computer, hastle-free. One company that gets it completely wrong is Microsoft. To start things off on a bad note, Microsoft stocks the shelves with more than one copy of a new OS (usually more than 4 versions). To make things more confusing, they create a chart like the one posted above. An upgrade chart is supposed to be helpful and aid a PC customer in the upgrade process. What this chart does is make things so much more confusing and aggrevating; it presses the fact that there is more than 1 single version of Windows 7 and Windows Vista and it makes things less clear with terms like “custom install” and “in-place upgrade.” This chart contains 66 different senarios to choose from; also, it “includes an entire row dedicated to a product that doesn’t exist: Windows Vista Starter 64-bit edition (Vista Starter is available in 32-bit only)”–that’s blasphemy!
So, what is there to do? Leave it to ZDNet’s Ed Bott to clean up the chart and make it readable. He completed a revised and more sensible chart in about an hour. If you are thinking about upgrading from XP or Vista to Windows 7 this October, take a look after the break for Bott’s chart. Microsoft, get your act together! You attempted to “wow” us with Vista, and that was a disaster (initially). Now you are trying to pick yourself back up with the positively reviewed Windows 7. Releasing more than one version of an OS and creating an upgrade chart that makes matters worse is bad, very bad. A confused customer is not the end goal. Shake it off, and let’s look forward to Windows 7 releasing without a hitch this October.