Microsoft Exec Taking Heat On Windows 7 Upgrades

scolded unnamed bloggers

Eric Ligman, global partner experience lead in Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Group, says the workarounds, when applied to a PC without an existing copy of Windows, violate Microsoft's software licensing terms and put users in danger of running illegal software. On Friday, visitors to Ligman's SMB Community blog expressed their displeasure with the way Microsoft is handling the situation.

"Your software should allow a clean install from the upgrade media, the fact that it doesn't is ridiculous," wrote one poster. "Nice work. Treating your customers like potential thieves is a sure way of winning them over to Windows 7," wrote another.

"For the love of God, make it easier for people to do clean installs on newly purchased [hard disk drives]," wrote a third poster." If you'd just make it easier to do, then tricks wouldn't have to be posted on Websites."

Windows 7 testers have been asking Microsoft for technical details on Windows 7 upgrades for months, but Microsoft hasn't heeded their requests, so some have taken matters into their own hands by developing workarounds.

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Windows 7 upgrade media won't allow users to do a clean install on a hard drive that doesn't have a previous Windows version, and many customers are finding this out the hard way when they try to upgrade. And, since many users prefer to move to a new version of Windows through a clean install, this issue is affecting a large number of users.

Microsoft's concern here is that people will try to save money by installing Windows 7 using upgrade media even if they don't have previous Windows version installed. The Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade sells for $80 less than the full version, and the Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate upgrades are $100 less than full price. However, Microsoft's EULA only allows Windows 7 upgrades to be installed on PCs that have a previous version of Windows already installed.

Microsoft's launch of Windows 7 couldn't have been any smoother, but judging from the anger of posters on Ligman's blog, the Windows 7 upgrade problem has already become the first fly in the ointment for the new OS.