I’d not realised before just how insane Microsoft’s upgrade path for Windows Vista clients is. And I’m pretty sure that many other resellers are not fully aware of the finer details of it. Here’s a graphical overview of it http://mossblog.allthingsd.com/files/2009/08/windows-upgrade-chart.png
I was doing some charity today for a church with a number of PCs that had Windows Vista Home Basic and Vista Home Premium. Through my contacts I’ve been able to organise an older HP server, and a copy of SBS 2003 R2 which will do them just fine. Naturally we want all computers to be able to join the domain and therefore we need to have Vista Business or higher or Windows 7 or higher.
Ok – so no problems I thought we might as well take the workstations from their Vista Home Basic/Premium up to Windows 7 Professional. I sent the client off to the local computer store to buy the upgrades (they get a better deal than I can give them). Client returned with the upgrades and I proceeded to run the Upgrade Advisor and then was told “You can’t perform an inplace upgrade to Win7 Pro – you need Win 7 Ultimate”. Huh? Basically the client needs to shell out more $$$ to Microsoft just so they can do an inplace upgrade. I’m sorry but I can’t see any technical reason why this should be needed and it stinks of opportunism.
The only other alternate that is “allowed” is to do a custom install in where it will copy your old windows folder to windows.old and you will be forced to reinstall all the applications, and configure the system as if it were a new computer.
The client values my time and went to return the Win7 Pro and got Win7 Ultimate now at the cost of an extra $100 per copy. Wow. Is it not insane that Microsoft choose not to allow this upgrade? I can see no technical reason why they refuse to do so and would be very keen to have someone point it out.