When Windows Vista was nearing launch, Microsoft offered an Upgrade Advisor program. Wanting to be sure to repeat the past (except, of course, for Windows Vista's poor adoption rate), Microsoft has released a beta version of a Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor
It doesn't go into the same amount of detail that the Windows Vista Advisor does, which would recommend a specific version of Windows Vista. It's not like there's going to be a dearth of Windows 7 versions
Here's how Microsoft describes the program:
In general, if your PC can run Windows Vista, it can run Windows 7. But if you're not running Windows Vista, or are just not sure if your system is ready to run Windows 7, there's a quick way to do a simple check.
Just download, install, and run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor Beta. You'll get a report telling you if your PC can run Windows 7, and if there are any known compatibility issues. If the issues can be resolved, you'll get suggestions for next steps. For example, it'll let you know if you need an updated software driver. You'll also get advice on how to upgrade to Windows 7.
Before you begin
Before you run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor beta, be sure to plug in any USB devices or other devices such as printers, external hard drives, or scanners that are regularly used with the PC you're evaluating.
Here's a question. It's unclear from the description above if the Advisor will check for drivers for networked devices (such as printers). And the Advisor is definitely missing something: a check to see if your CPU will support XP Compatibility Mode
, which requires hardware virtualization.
Hopefully, they'll add that in the future. But for now, you can head over to Gibson Research
and use their Securable freeware app to check.
You can use the Upgrade Advisor on XP, but remember that XP users have to do a full install; there will be no in-place upgrade option.