Hidden traps behind ‘bargain’ computers

Those cheap laptops offered recently by the folks at both Wal-Mart and BestBuy stores drew lots of attention and customers. But owners of these super-cheap computers will get something of a nasty surprise when they

attempt to upgrade from the Vista version installed on most of them.

Most of these laptops came loaded with Windows Vista Home Basic operating system, which doesn’t include a free upgrade to Windows 7 in the U.S.

The folks who shelled out about $300 for these machines will have to come up with an additional $120 to get Windows 7 and get rid of the much-maligned Vista.

Microsoft has also published its “upgrade” paths — the rules of the road for installing Windows 7.  The software company won’t support upgrade from:

  • Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows XP, Windows Vista® RTM, Windows Vista Starter, Windows 7 M3, Windows 7 Beta, Windows 7 RC, or Windows 7 IDS
  • Windows NT® Server 4.0, Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server® 2003, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2

To download the full, four-page “Windows 7 Upgrade Path” document, visit here.

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