Pricing and Upgrade Information...
What are Windows 7's recommended system requirements?
The recommended requirements for Windows 7 have more or less remained the same as those for Windows Vista:
-> 1GHz single-core processor
-> 1GB RAM (32-bit) or 2GB RAM (64-bit)
-> 16GB hard drive (32-bit) or 20GB hard drive (64-bit)
-> Graphics card with 128MB of memory (for Aero Glass)
However, Windows 7 has been tweaked to maximize system performance, meaning Windows 7 will perform better on a computer than Windows Vista and, in some tests, even Windows XP. This enables users of netbooks and older computers to run Windows 7 where it may have been difficult or impossible with Windows Vista. It also means that you can run Windows 7 on a system with lower specifications than above, although it is not recommended in order to take full advantage of the operating system.
Can I upgrade to Windows 7 from a previous version of Windows?
-> From Windows XP or below, no; a clean installation will be required.
-> From Windows Vista, yes; most files, applications, and settings will remain intact.
-> From Windows 7 Beta/RC, possibly. (Consult the answer to "Can I upgrade from the Beta/RC to the RTM version?")
Can I downgrade from Windows 7 to a previous version?
-> No. It is not possible to downgrade from one version of Windows to another, necessitating a clean installation.
-> Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate users, however, will be permitted to exchange the Windows 7 license for a corresponding Windows XP or Windows Vista license.
Can I upgrade from the Beta/RC to the RTM version?
-> Possibly. There is a process by which it is technically possible, but it is for advanced users only and is not advisable or supported by Microsoft due to potential malfunctions that may occur as a result. Therefore, a clean installation is strongly encouraged.
How much does Windows 7 cost (USA)?
-> Home Premium: $119.99
-> Professional: $199.99
-> Ultimate: $219.99
-> Home Premium: $199.99
-> Professional: $299.99
-> Ultimate: $319.99
NOTE: That means Windows 7 Home Premium costs $40 less at launch than Windows Vista did while Windows 7 Ultimate costs $40 less to upgrade and $80 less to buy outright!
Can I receive a discount on Windows 7 RTM?
-> Most beta testers will not receive free or discounted copies of Windows 7.
-> Students with a valid .edu email address eligible for drastically-reduced cost licenses (and sometimes even free!) directly from Microsoft.
-> Licensed users of Windows XP and/or Windows Vista may purchase a Windows 7 upgrade license, which is offered globally at reduced prices.