Upgrading from Windows 7 RC to Windows 7 Final Is Possible
Article by George Norman
On 13 Jul 2009
Today, the 13th of July, is the day when Microsoft will roll out the RTM (release to manufacturing) version of Windows 7 – at least that’s what rumor on the web has it. With the release of Windows 7 final drawing closer and closer, one question comes to mind: will I, the Windows 7 RC user be able to upgrade? I’m not taking the Windows 7 Beta users into consideration because hopefully they have switched to the RC by now – keep in mind that Windows 7 Beta expires on the 1st of August, and of July 1st it started to shutdown every couple of hours just to remind you of its impending expiration date.

Upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7 for example, is not only possible, it is also free (or at least pretty cheap). Microsoft has confirmed that it will provide an upgrade path for customers that have Vista installed on their machine and purchase Windows 7. For the customer that buys a new PC with a qualifying Vista version preinstalled, there is the option to upgrade for free once Windows 7 becomes generally available on the 22nd of October (via the Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program).

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The Redmond-based company has now confirmed that it will make upgrading from Windows 7 RC to Windows 7 Final possible as well. If you have Windows 7 RC installed on your machine, you can purchase Windows 7 Upgrade edition and make the switch.

There is a catch though – you did see this coming, didn’t you? First of all, you will have to activate your Windows 7 RC if you want to upgrade. Once you do that, you will be able to upgrade, but it will not be the regular type of upgrade where all your data and all your programs are moved from one OS version to the other. Instead you will have to perform a “custom installation” of Windows 7 Final – which in layman’s terms is very much like a fresh install. None of your programs will be kept; you will have to re-install them. Your data on the other hand will not be deleted, it will be saved in a folder labeled “WINDOWS.OLD”.

The estimated retail price for upgrade packaged retail product of Windows 7 in the US of A is:
Windows 7 Home Premium (Upgrade): $119.99
Windows 7 Professional (Upgrade): $199.99
Windows 7 Ultimate (Upgrade): $219.99

Windows 7 Release Candidate is available for download until the 15th of August here (and here or here). You can try one of these keys to activate the operating system:
MM7DF-G8XWM-J2VRG-4M3C4-GR27X
KGMPT-GQ6XF-DM3VM-HW6PR-DX9G8
MVBCQ-B3VPW-CT369-VM9TB-YFGBP
KBHBX-GP9P3-KH4H4-HKJP4-9VYKQ
BCGX7-P3XWP-PPPCV-Q2H7C-FCGFR
RGQ3V-MCMTC-6HP8R-98CDK-VP3FM
Q3VMJ-TMJ3M-99RF9-CVPJ3-Q7VF3
6JQ32-Y9CGY-3Y986-HDQKT-BPFPG
P72QK-2Y3B8-YDHDV-29DQB-QKWWM
6F4BB-YCB3T-WK763-3P6YJ-BVH24
9JBBV-7Q7P7-CTDB7-KYBKG-X8HHC
C43GM-DWWV8-V6MGY-G834Y-Y8QH3
GPRG6-H3WBB-WJK6G-XX2C7-QGWQ9
MT39G-9HYXX-J3V3Q-RPXJB-RQ6D7
MVYTY-QP8R7-6G6WG-87MGT-CRH2P

NOTE: The Windows 7 Upgrade edition will not work if you want to perform a fresh installation. It only works on top of an activated Windows-based OS.

If you get Windows 7 from less than official sources, use Windows 7 ISO Verifier to validate the authenticity of the OS.



Tags: Microsoft, Windows 7, RC, Release Candidate, Upgrade
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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