Windows Anytime Upgrade
Windows Anytime Upgrade – Introduction
Just what is Windows Anytime Upgrade?
Well, its Microsoft’s offering allowing you to upgrade your operating system to a higher function if after purchasing Windows 7 you should decide at a later date that you wish you’d purchased a different edition.
As your computing needs change, you may decide that you require the extra functions that say Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Ultimate has over Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium for instance.
You may have decided to go for the cheaper edition whilst you evaluate whether or not Windows 7 is all it’s cracked up to be?
So, are you ready to make the move from Microsoft Windows 7 Starter to Home Premium or Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate?
Do remember though that this is a ‘one way ticket’ – there’s no going back once you’ve made the jump except by reinstalling from your original DVD and software key.
Also, please bear in mind that you can only upgrade to the same ‘version’, i.e. if your present setup is using a 32 bit version then you can only upgrade to a higher edition in the same 32 bit format.
Sorry folks, no upgrading from 32 bit to 64 bit.
So how does all this work exactly?
Well, when you install Windows 7 for the first time, you’re actually installing all of the features from all of the Editions of Windows 7 but, depending upon which version you bought, some of these features may not be available to you – they will effectively be locked out.
The great thing about Windows 7 Anytime Upgrade is that you will not need to reinstall Windows 7 should you decide to go for an upgrade – it’s already installed!
No worries over losing files, finding drivers etc., your original installation is all left untouched. Windows just ‘unlocks’ the extra features for the Edition you wish to upgrade to!
So, how do we go about doing all of this?
Hey it’s as easy as one, two three!
Windows Anytime Upgrade – Step One
First off you need to run the Windows Anytime Upgrade program which you can locate by going to the ‘Start’ button, clicking on it and then typing in the command box ‘upgrade’ and hitting ‘return’.
After a short delay a ‘Windows Anytime Upgrade’ window will pop up with two options plus a link to allow you too check if your computer is capable of upgrading to Windows 7 which of course you already know as you already have Windows 7 installed!
Ok, so now there are basically two options…
‘Go online to choose the edition of Windows 7 that’s best for you’ which takes you directly to the Microsoft website and details the options and pricing for purchasing your upgrade key online for the relevant upgrades available to you.
Here you will be presented with a table of the different versions available for you to purchase plus the added features that each Edition will offer.
Do be aware that there have been some reports that if you choose this upgrade route Microsoft can take a little while (maybe a few hours!) before sending you the upgrade activation key.
You may well be better off purchasing an upgrade pack from one of the many stores or retailers stocking the Windows Anytime Upgrade pack.
So the second option is to ‘Enter an Upgrade key’ which allows you to enter an upgrade key that you have purchased as part of a Windows Anytime Upgrade retail box.
Windows Anytime Upgrade – Step Two
The next step is to enter your upgrade key that you purchased direct from Microsoft or via a Windows Anytime Upgrade retail box purchase.
Type in the upgrade key and click ‘Next’ – your upgrade will be verified by Microsoft and you will need to accept the license terms and conditions by clicking on ‘I accept’.
You will now be told to close all applications and save your work and you can then click on ‘Upgrade’ and Windows Anytime Upgrade will set about reconfiguring your operating system to make available all of the features of the Edition that you have purchased.
This does take a little while to perform!
Windows Anytime Upgrade – Step Three
Windows Anytime Upgrade will check to see if there are any updates available for Windows 7 and once completed it will proceed with the upgrading of your present edition of Windows 7 to your newly purchased edition.
Finally Windows will perform a restart and you will now be presented with your new edition of Windows 7 complete with a welcome screen and helpful link to investigating the new features you have installed within this new edition of Windows 7.
And all in around ten minutes or so!
Do remember that you will need to activate your new edition of Windows 7 even though you may have already done this previously for your original edition.
You have up to 30 days to activate so no need to do this immediately.
Windows Anytime Upgrade first appeared along with the introduction of Windows Vista which also provided the same options to upgrade to the higher functionality editions of Vista such as Home Basic to Home Premium or Vista Business etc.
The trouble with the Vista incarnation of Windows Anytime Upgrade was that it required the purchaser to have the original installation DVD and users had to wait for Microsoft to mail a copy of the upgrade disc before the actual upgrade could take place!
Thankfully that’s not the case for Microsoft Windows 7!
Everything you need is already installed during the original Windows 7 installation – it just requires unlocking.
So, what exactly are your upgrade options for your current edition?
Windows Starter Edition – This is the entry level edition of Windows 7 and it is possible to upgrade from this version to Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate.
Windows 7 Home Basic Edition – This edition is only available in certain countries and can be upgraded to Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate
Windows 7 Home Premium - The version supplied as standard on most new PCs and laptops and the version most people will opt for when upgrading from previous versions of the Windows operating system. You can choose to upgrade to Professional or Ultimate from this edition of Windows 7.
Windows 7 Professional – The version favoured by businesses and I.T. specialists due to the included features. You only have the option to upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate from this edition.
A few reasons why you may wish to upgrade your version of Windows 7?
Well let’s see…..
Backing Up over a network is a nice option to have and is available with both the Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate Editions
Remote Desktop is also a must for a lot of us and again you’ll need Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate for full control here.
Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) booting, BitLocker, DirectAccess and AppLocker are all only available with Windows 7 Ultimate.
BitLocker is a great utility for securing data on removable storage such as a USB stick/flash drive etc.
VHD allows you to use your PC as if you have multiple booting set up but without having to create multiple partitions on your hard drive to store them.
DirectAccess gives mobile workers seamless and secure connection to their corporate network without the need to set up a VPN.
AppLocker restricts the use of specified applications across a network.
I’m sure you’ll see that with Microsoft Windows 7 Anytime Upgrade it has become one heck of a lot easier to perform an upgrade – no clean install, file backup, program and driver reinstallation etc, just enter your upgrade key and around 10 – 20 minutes later you are good to go!
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