Windows 7 - True cost of upgrade product may not save you money
For XP users who want to move to Windows 7 the Windows 7 upgrade versions may be no bargain. One of the things you forfeit when using the upgrade version of Windows 7 could be your XP or Vista license/keycode.
Although it’s not absolutely clear as to what will happen when you upgrade Windows XP, a recent chat with a Microsoft marketing chap clearly stated that your XP keycode will be retired and any attempt to install XP using the same keycode on another computer would fail to activate either over the Internet or via phone activation.
Since Windows 7 can not really upgrade XP but never the less requires that a valid OS is installed on the hard drive for the upgrade to complete. (Note: the key word is “installed”, unlike an upgrade version of XP which only requires you to have a Windows 98 CD handy). The question of exactly how and when during the upgrade process Windows 7 phones home and disables your XP key is still open for debate.
One thing soon becomes clear, the money you saved on purchasing the Windows 7 Upgrade Version is no savings at all when you add the cost of a valid XP or Vista key code that is in effect no longer usable.
For example you can currently purchase a Windows XP CD on eBay for about $50.00 if you want to take the chance getting a good (valid) key code. Alternately you can buy an OEM or Retail version from NewEgg or Amazon for about $125 to $150.00.
Simple math shows the following may be your true cost: Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade version $119.99 + Cost of XP Home license (eBay Retail NIB) $ 59.99 = $179.98. Windows 7 Home Premium – Full version $199.99. You actually saved $20.00 and in the process gave away your rights to use XP Home now or in the future.
Windows 7 Professional - Upgrade version $199.99 Add the current cost of the XP Professional CD (eBay) $150.00 and your total cost could be $350.00 or more as your copy of XP is worth at least $150.00.
Note: Prices and exactly what you are buying varies widely and some eBay listings indicate product may have been previously activated. A safer but more expensive choice would be for example: Amazon $239.99 (Retail) or Newegg OEM $134.99
Windows 7 - Full version $299.99 and you get to keep you existing copy of XP to use on another PC or reinstall on your existing computer should you decide to buy a new computer a year or two down the road.
Your actual savings by buying the upgrade copy of Windows 7 Professional: None, if fact you may have lost $50.00 or more and once again you forfeited your rights to use XP Home now or in the future.
Your best option: Buy the full retail product version of Windows 7 Professional which includes support for XP Mode.
What is XP Mode? Note: Windows XP Mode requires an additional 1 GB of RAM when compared to the basic requirements, also an additional 15 GB of available hard disk space, and a processor capable of hardware virtualization with Intel VT or AMD-V turned on/enabled in the BIOS.