Vista will not be an easy upgrade for all the currently supported versions.
Microsoft released the upgrade paths
for Windows Vista earlier this week, detailing which of the previous Windows software will be able to make use of the upgrade version, and how it will install. Unlike previous versions of the OS, there are many combinations that will force you to do a clean install instead of an in-place upgrade.
Many people will be familiar with the in-place upgrade, which allows you to install directly over the old OS without needing to reinstall software, redo bookmarks, or reconfigure many system settings. Due to the difference between Vista and previous Windows versions, this will be impossible for several types of users.
Users of Windows 2000 in any form will require a clean install. Users of the Windows XP 64-bit edition will also require a fresh start. For users of XP, the requirements are split: If you have XP Home, any upgrade version of Vista will work; for XP Pro, you can only use an in-place upgrade with the Business or Ultimate version. If you run XP pro and want a lower version of Vista, expect a clean install to be required.
If you're not sure whether your computer or OS meet the minimum specs for your chosen version of Vista, Microsoft is releasing another version of their Upgrade Advisor
as part of the "Get Ready" campaign. Currently, the advisor is still in beta stages, though, so check back with it again before buying.
Got a thought on the upgrade? Curious to see whether your system will move seamlessly? Or is a reinstall in your future? Let us know in our forums