Microsoft adjusts its policy for user with Vista upgrade CDs
When it comes to the Windows Vista, Microsoft is changing a long-standing tradition when it comes to upgrading from a previous version of Windows. No longer will popping in a disc of a previous version of Windows during setup satisfy the people in Redmond when using an upgrade CD.
For example, when performing a clean install of Windows XP Professional using an upgrade CD, users would run through the normal setup routine until prompted to insert a previous version of Windows. A user could pop in a Windows 98 or Windows 2000 CD for upgrade compliance and then the setup routine would move along as usual.
Microsoft has cut out this process for Windows Vista and forces users who buy an upgrade CD to actually have a valid install of Windows XP Home or Professional on their machines before upgrading.
For most users, this wouldn't be a problem. They more than likely have an existing copy of Windows XP installed and would have no problems upgrading to Windows Vista with an upgrade CD.
But for do-it-yourselfers who buy a Vista upgrade CD and think that they can easily perform a clean install whenever they feel free are going to run into the road block. In this case, the road block means that users wanting to perform a clean install with a Vista upgrade CD will have to:
1) Install a genuine copy of Windows XP Home/Professional
2) Activate Windows XP through Microsoft
3) Upgrade to Windows Vista from within Windows XP
So if you plan on saving money by using a Vista upgrade CD instead of purchasing a full copy, be aware that youre have a few extra steps involved before booting to the Vista desktop for the first time. If you dont want to deal with the hassle, youre going to have to pony up for a full copy of Vista.