Today is the day that Microsoft officially launches its new operating system. As of midnight, Windows 7 has launched and is now available on new computers as well as packaged DVDs for users to upgrade their current systems. But will Windows 7 be enough of an enticement for most users to upgrade their systems? Or will folks just wait until they buy a new computer to get Windows 7?

This is going to be what many are saying could be a make or break debut of a new operating system. Most people will agree that Microsoft will not be going out of business any time soon. It has accumulated way too much cash that failure is not an option. But what it does face is a skeptical consumer who is still reeling from Vista. A public that is mainly still using Windows XP and is still satisfied with the way it operates, plus an economy that is still in shock.

What is really strange is that Microsoft knows that the majority of people are still using Windows XP. Yet it has failed to make an easy solution for how to perform an upgrade to Windows 7 without doing a totally clean install. Even those who are using Vista face some challenges, which I was surprised to learn on the Toshiba website recently. I bought my Toshiba laptop with Vista SP1 last November, 2008. Yet on Toshiba’s site it states the following for users of Vista with models made in 2007 and 2008.

  1. Click ‘Custom’ to replace your existing Windows installation with Windows 7.  This will result in deleting all programs and data currently on your computer.
  2. Select the partition where you would like to install Windows. To move your existing Windows installation into a Windows.old folder and replace the operating system with Windows 7, select the partition where your current Windows installation is located.  Click ‘Next’ and then click ‘OK’.

What is strange to me is that if, according to Toshiba’s site, my computer was built in 2009 I can use the Toshiba Upgrade Assistant that it describes will do the upgrade for me with no data loss.

The Toshiba Upgrade Assistant for Windows 7 is software that manages all of the details of the upgrade process from Windows Vista to Windows 7 on Toshiba laptops.  The Toshiba Upgrade Assistant for Windows 7 automatically uninstalls driver and utility software that was preinstalled by Toshiba and needs to be removed from Windows Vista prior to upgrading to Windows 7, launches the Windows 7 installation Setup program, and then installs Toshiba software after the Windows 7 upgrade is completed.

What I find interesting is that if I bought my computer on January 1, 2009, I can use the Toshiba Upgrade Assistant to do an upgrade, but since I bought the computer in November of 2008, it cannot be done. What a crock.

I believe that Microsoft and the computer companies should have come up with an easy to do upgrade without the hassles of a clean install. An effortless way to upgrade from both Windows XP and Windows Vista for anyone who owns a computer built before 2009.

I am positive we will hear many horror stories of non functioning computers after some will try the upgrade process. But this is nothing really new. We hear the same uproar every time Microsoft comes out with a new operating system.

Comments welcome.

Toshiba source.