Windows 7After a false start in publishing Windows 7 Upgrade Paths Matrix which was retracted and took down almost as immediately as it went up, Microsoft has finally published a document that outlines supported and unsupported upgrade paths for Windows 7 edition SKUs. Comparing with previous version, the upgrade paths scenarios are very much simplified and make very easy to understand.

Do take note that the “upgrade” described as in upgrade paths means whether user can perform in-place direct upgrade to Windows 7 from earlier operating system, retaining all applications, programs, documents, settings, personalization and other user data automatically without having to clean install from scratch (which Windows 7 setup refers as Custom Installation). Do not confuse “upgrade” here with Windows 7 Upgrade version license, which an user is entitled to purchase Windows 7 at cheaper price if he or she has earlier Windows OS, although the upgrade path is not supported.

Unsupported Upgrade Scenarios

  • Upgrades to Windows 7 from the following operating systems are not supported:
    • Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows XP, Windows Vista RTM, Windows Vista Starter, Windows 7 M3, Windows 7 Beta, Windows 7 RC, or Windows 7 IDS
    • Windows NT Server 4.0, Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Cross-architecture in-place upgrades (for example, x86 to x64) are not supported.
  • Cross-language in-place upgrades (for example, en-us to de-de) are not supported.
  • Cross-SKU upgrades (for example, Windows 7 N to Windows 7 K) are not supported.
  • Upgrades from Windows Vista to Windows N, Windows K, Windows KN, or Windows E are not supported.
  • Cross-build type in-place upgrades (for example, fre to chk) are not supported.
  • Pre-release in-place upgrades across milestones (for example, Windows 7 RC to Windows 7 RTM) are not supported.

Supported Upgrade Scenarios

From Windows Vista (SP1, SP2) Upgrade to Windows 7
Business Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate
Enterprise Enterprise
Home Basic Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate
Home Premium Home Premium, Ultimate
Ultimate Ultimate


From Windows 7 Upgrade to Windows 7
Enterprise Enterprise
Home Basic Home Basic
Home Premium Home Premium
Professional Professional
Starter (x86 only) Starter (x86)
Ultimate Ultimate


From Windows 7 Anytime Upgrade to Windows 7
Home Basic Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate
Home Premium Professional, Ultimate
Professional Ultimate
Starter Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate

There is also Windows 7 upgrade chart available, which details the above nicely in chart format. The document can also be downloaded from Microsoft Download Center or view online at TechNet. Check out also the full coverage information on Windows 7 RTM.