Microsoft just released the beta version of Internet Explorer 9. The intention is to keep up with it’s competitors, like Google with Chrome, Mozilla with Firefox and so on. All of them already have support for the HTML 5.
According to Microsoft’s IE page the major parts of the upgrade are still being developed.
Many people will have to do what is known as a custom or “clean” installation, which involves backing up one’s data, installing Windows 7, then restoring the data and re-installing all applications.
All users of XP will have to go this route, as will those moving from a 32-bit version of Vista to a 64-bit version of Windows 7 (or vice versa), as well as those who are moving from a higher-end version of Windows Vista to a lower-end version of Windows 7.
Those moving from Windows Vista to the same version of Windows 7 (or to Ultimate) can do what is known as an “in-place” upgrade, which preserves files and applications.
Anyway, on to the tough cases. Here are some of the questions that readers sent me, as well as the answers I heard back from Microsoft.
Q: I installed the release candidate version of Windows 7 on a reformatted hard drive that previously had Windows Vista installed. Can I use the Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade version to install a licensed copy?
A: Yes. You can do a custom installation (“clean install”) to Windows 7 using the upgrade. The Windows 7 installer will detect you have the RC installed, enabling you to do this.
Q: Try as I might, I haven’t been able to find any reliable information on whether I can upgrade from Vista Home Premium Edition (that came with my HP Laptop) straight to Windows 7 Professional/Ultimate, or whether it is only possible to upgrade from “Vista Home Premium” to “Windows 7 Home Premium.”
A: You can do an in-place upgrade from Home Premium to Ultimate, provided you aren’t switching from 32-bit to 64-bit or vice versa. Going from Home Premium to professional, however, requires a custom installation. (For a chart of which versions can be done via in-place upgrades, check out this Microsoft Web page.)
Q: I have Vista Basic on two computers and XP on the other one. So all I would have to do is use a Windows 7 upgrade disc on all three computers? Does one disc do one computer or will it do all three? I live in Canada, not the U.S.
A: In both the U.S. and Canada, your best bet is probably the Windows 7 family pack, which offers a license to upgrade up to three PCs.
Q: Can you use an upgrade disk to run XP (or Vista) in dual-boot (meaning that one partition or hard drive has the older operating system and the other partition or drive has Windows 7?
A: Microsoft treats a dual-boot machine as if it were two PCs, so you can only use the upgrade if you are installing over an existing Windows partition. So, unless you have two licenses already on that system, you will need a full copy of Windows 7.
Q: What about upgrading a Mac?
A: In order to qualify to use the upgrade version, Mac owners need to be running a previously licensed full copy of Windows (not just a beta version). That applies whether one they are using Windows in Boot Camp or using a virtualization product like Parallels or VMWare’s Fusion.
It looks as though Microsoft may have a winner in Windows 7, at least in comparison to Vista.
The software giant saw relatively strong early adoption of Windows 7 in the 10 days since its official launch. According to Net Applications, more than 3 percent of PCs accessing the Web in the past two days have been doing so using the new operating system. Usage of the operating system has been growing strong in recent days, though Windows 7 already accounted for 2 percent of global Web traffic in the days ahead of its formal launch.
Judging by its initial sales, Windows 7 is certainly proving more popular than Vista. Microsoft sold 234 percent more boxed editions of Windows 7 than it did Vista in the initial releases of both products, according to research released by NPD Group.
In actual dollars, Windows 7 has also been more successful than Vista. However, early discounts on pre-sales copies and a lack of a promotional boost behind Windows 7 Ultimate led to revenues only 82 percent greater than those of Vista.
Now that we’re past the official release of Windows 7, most new PCs should come with it pre-installed. But if you purchased a new computer with Windows Vista recently, or for whatever reason end up with a Vista system in the near future, there’s a very good chance you’re eligible for a free Windows 7 upgrade.
From the period of June 26, 2009 through January 31, 2010, many major PC makers are offering free upgrades to Windows 7 for those who buy a Vista-powered laptop or desktop. The deals are all essentially the same, and, as expected, have some exceptions and asterisks.
Click the gallery link below and we’ll show you the details for PC brands including Dell, HP, Gateway, Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and Sony — complete with upgrade terms and instructions, and links to each PC maker’s free Windows 7 upgrade request forms.
Getting your free Windows 7 upgrade is handled through the company you bought your PC from, not by Microsoft, and in most cases you’ll have to register and fill out some online forms. Now that we’re past the October 22 launch date for Windows 7, you’ll receive a physical copy of Windows 7 via snail mail once your submit the proper documentation. The upgrade path looks like this:
Windows Vista Home Premium→Windows 7 Home Premium
Windows Vista Business→Windows 7 Professional
Windows Vista Ultimate→Windows 7 Ultimate
Using Vista basic? Tough luck! Also worth noting, upgrades are arriving via DVD, so you’ll have to have a DVD drive available (although there is a USB drive workaround). Also royally screwed are Netbook buyers who have Windows XP, and are not eligible for the free upgrade.
If consumers like the new Windows 7 operating system, they’ll have the much-maligned Windows Vista to thank.
In part, that’s because Windows 7 actually builds on the under-the-hood changes that came with Vista. But, it also turns out that the vast headaches created by Vista were just what the PC industry needed to improve their cooperation.
With consumers lukewarm to Vista and many businesses shunning it entirely, both Microsoft and the computer makers realized that the standard way of business just wasn’t cutting it, particularly with Apple coming on strong.
Redmond, in particular, was humbled by the response to Vista. When it came time to planning the next version, newly installed Windows development chief Steven Sinofsky took the company’s earliest ideas and met with PC makers.
That marked a huge change from past releases, where, as some PC makers described it, Microsoft would just develop windows in secret and then “throw it over the wall.”
“Until Vista, Microsoft was fully thinking on their own and implementing their own ideas and then releasing it,” said Gianpiero Morbello, a vice president for Taiwanese PC maker Acer.
This time around, though, Microsoft shared its earliest plans, sought input, and held regular meetings with the PC makers. In addition, it dedicated engineering teams to work with each of the biggest computer makers to help them work through any issues specific to their designs. Read More…