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Windows 7 for small business

Dec 28th, 2009 | Posted by | Filed under Indianapolis IT support

Windows 7, Microsoft’s newest operating system – OS,  is finding success with small business.  Besides the fact that it is becoming increasingly difficult to purchase a computer with Windows XP, Windows 7 sales are penetrating business as small businesses upgrade their computer systems.

One point to note with Windows 7 launch is the confusion about the upgrade process and compatibility with business networks and domains.  Below is a graphic from Microsoft’s website detailing the Windows 7 upgrade & install process.

Use this chart to determine whether you should do an upgrade or custom (clean) installation.


Windows 7
Home Premium

Windows 7

Windows 7

Windows XP, all editions

Asterisk Asterisk Asterisk

Windows Vista Home Basic

Checkmark Asterisk Checkmark

Windows Vista Home Premium

Checkmark Asterisk Checkmark

Windows Vista Business

Asterisk Checkmark Checkmark

Windows Vista Ultimate

Asterisk Asterisk Checkmark

CheckmarkUpgrade available AsteriskCustom (clean) install required


To upgrade an earlier operating system than Windows XP (for example, Windows 95 or Windows 2000) you will need to purchase a full license of Windows 7 and perform a custom installation.

spacerSpeaking with several clients we still hear some misconceptions about upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 and upgrading from Vista to Windows 7.

Windows XP – Home and Professional Versions

As noted in the info above you cannot perform and in place upgrade from any version of Windows XP to Windows 7.  That means you will need to save data from the Windows XP install to an external drive and then install Windows 7, which will erase everything on the disk including Windows XP and all the data.  This is the same as upgrading or migrating form Windows XP to Windows Vista.

Windows Vista upgrade to Windows 7

With Vista you can perform in-place upgrades to Windows 7.  This means you simply insert the WIndows 7 installation media, CD, DVD, and upgrade with a valid license to start using Windows 7.  The graphic above shows the different versions of Vista and the upgrade options to Windows 7.  One nice thing Microsoft did was to change the names back to the Windows XP version names of Home and Professional editions.

So there is not any confusion for business users, Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate may be joined to a Windows server domain.  Windows 7 Home Premium, the only home edition, cannot be joined to a business network Windows domain.

Windows 7 easily works great for home as well as business users.  The professional and Ultimate editions of WIndows 7 may be joined to your Windows business network domain, including SBS, with ease.  It is a solid alternative to XP and Vista and provides compatibility with older Windows XP programs if needed.  One other point to note when looking to upgrade or change to Windows 7 is to make sure you get the correct version regarding business use as well as 32 bit or 64 bit for your hardware and programs.

Let us know if you are interested in upgrading or moving to Windows 7 computers for your business network.  We can help. Indianapolis computer service provided by L5 Solutions.

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