Upgrading from Another Windows Edition

The basic procedure for upgrading from one edition of Windows 7 to another is unlike anything Microsoft has ever created before. The Anytime Upgrade feature was first introduced in Windows Vista, but the name is about all that the Windows 7 version of this feature has in common with its immediate predecessor

So what's changed? If you purchase a new PC with Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, or Professional installed, you'll find an unpretentious link beneath the name of your edition in the System applet in Control Panel: Get more features with a new edition of Windows 7

Click that link, and it opens the Windows Anytime Upgrade dialog box, shown in Figure 2-5.

Figure 2-5 Upgrading from one edition of Windows 7 to another takes less than 10 minutes. You can buy an upgrade key online or from a local retailer.

Figure 2-5 Upgrading from one edition of Windows 7 to another takes less than 10 minutes. You can buy an upgrade key online or from a local retailer.

If you're ready to upgrade, choose the top option to buy the upgrade online from Microsoft. (This option might not be available in some geographic locations .) After selecting the edition you want to upgrade to, you'll be taken straight to a dialog box that allows you to initiate the upgrade process . You'll also receive a product key in the same format as the Windows product key that comes with a new retail version of Windows 7 . (This upgrade key is for your use in the event that you need to reinstall Windows later.)

If you purchase an Anytime Upgrade package from a brick-and-mortar retailer, the upgrade key will be included with the package and you can click the bottom option to continue . After you enter the Anytime Upgrade product key, the remainder of the process is automatic

What's most startling about the Anytime Upgrade process in Windows 7 is how quick and unobtrusive it is . The upgrade typically takes 10 minutes or less, in sharp contrast to the identically named feature in Windows Vista, which required a complete reinstallation of Windows and several hours .

It doesn't require you to insert the original installation media or download any code . It simply unlocks the features in the upgraded edition . The upgrade process restarts the computer on its own, once. You don't need to restart the computer at the end of the upgrade.

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