Upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7... via Vista Trial
Early indications from Microsoft are that Windows 7 setup will only work on Vista-based computers. But if you're running XP, you may not be out of options.
So it might seem pointless, at first, to say that the first tool you need to make an XP-to-Win7 upgrade is a copy of Vista. But the key here is that you don't need to activate Vista after you've upgraded from XP to Vista, before you begin the upgrade from Vista to Win7. This could give hope to XP users who do plan to purchase Windows 7; all they need to do is borrow a friend's legitimate copy of Vista.
For Betanews' test (which used Virtual PC), we intentionally used a very old, non-updated Windows XP Professional virtual machine, with only Service Pack 1 installed. But very importantly, Office 2007 was also installed. Because this was an old VHD, we had to activate both XP and Office. But doing so at least ensured us of an antique-like system in good working order, with real working applications whose settings would need to survive the upgrade as well. For the heck of it, we attempted a few tricks to see if Windows Server 2008 could be made to install as an upgrade. Those tricks failed, but not surprisingly. We also double-checked for the availability of an evaluation version of Vista. No such version is officially available from Microsoft's servers at present.
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