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Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor Beta – does what it says on the tin

OK so we all like to take pot shots at Microsoft right? Come to think of it, most of us like to take pot shots at most companies if they can be even vaguely accused of trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

OK so we all like to take pot shots at Microsoft right? Come to think of it, most of us like to take pot shots at most companies if they can be even vaguely accused of trying to pull the wool over our eyes. Well, I’ve just installed Windows 7 on an Acer notebook and I have to tell you that it was a remarkably pain free process.

Here’s the bit that really hurts; I also have to tell you that I was left feeling that Microsoft has been really clever about the way it has provisioned for install compatibilities this time.

My better half being an ex-Java programmer was full of scepticism. “It won’t just work, you’ll need to install new drivers and worry about the dependencies throughout,” she muttered.

This is a woman (the current Mrs Bridgwater that is) who used to work for defence contractors in Washington DC near the Pentagon (do I need to spell it out more clearly than that?) – so basically she’s someone who doesn’t defrag and clean up her PC once a month, she’s more like to format C: and rebuild from scratch.

So I read up and read up. I spoke to my colleagues about it at length to double check a few things. Thank you Simon, your advice was invaluable.

I installed the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor Beta to do some pre-flight checks, which went well. Only to put the install DVD into the machine and find that the first thing it does for non-techies is offer to take you to the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor Beta website, doh!

So it works and probably took a couple of hours all in once I had removed various programs that Acer seems to think people might want installed such as “Chicken Invaders” etc. But this was just my experience and I am just one user. Plus I was lucky as I have a press copy of Windows Ultimate, which is quite crucial as you have to match the edition of Win 7 with your version of Vista or XP.

The theory is, with the product available as Home Premium, Professional or Ultimate (all in 32- of 64-bit versions) you can not ‘trump’ Windows 7 Home Premium over Vista Ultimate. At least I think that’s what people are suggesting.

OK so there’s my little install experience – and, please remember, I am a Mac user at heart. So this was going to be painful from the start. Trouble is, it actually wasn’t.