One of the questions I received from my Regardless of what any hack says, a Windows 7 Upgrade is an Upgrade. What you need to know post, in addition to seeing this topic discussed by people in comments in several other places is, “I downloaded the Windows 7 Beta, RC, and/or RTM code for my computer so this qualifies me to use a Windows Upgrade license to get Windows 7 for my computer, right?” Here’s the answer to this question:
As you know, Microsoft often makes available the beta, Release Candidate (RC), or Release To Manufacturing (RTM) code available to people around the world to use on their computers for a limited amount of time. This serves several purposes, including giving people a chance to try out the programs before they are actually launched into the market and by allowing people to give us feedback on what they are experiencing with the product, such as issues, bugs, incompatibilities, features, etc. that our developers need to know about as they work towards the release of the final product. Beta and pre-release testers play a very important part in the software development cycle and their feedback to us is incredibly valuable. There is something very important to realize though about these versions of the products: Beta, RC, and RTM releases of the products do not include product licenses for the full/final release products. These are limited-time, trial code of the product.
If you remember the examples I gave in my previous post above:
So looking at the fact that Beta, RC, and RTM editions are just limited-time trials of the various products and do not include full/final product licenses, they would fall into the 2nd group shown here (Nothing + Upgrade License = Nothing). So, people with computers only having Beta, RC, or RTM versions of Windows on them would not qualify to use the Windows 7 Upgrade license to achieve having a full Windows 7 license (Again, an upgrade is just an upgrade and requires a full license to upgrade from).
Now, in order to make sure that my statement is not misunderstood, I am going to clarify even further. There are two categories of computers that people use the Beta, RC, and RTM code on:
1) Computers with Full Windows XP or Vista License Already (Click to view full size)
2) Computers without Full Windows XP or Vista License Already (Click to view full size)
For those people in group #1 above (computers with a Windows XP or Vista license already), you are eligible for the Windows 7 Retail Box upgrade since you do have a qualifying full Windows license (Windows XP or Windows Vista) for the Windows 7 Upgrade. Below is a visual of what you do/don’t have in this scenario:
For those people in group #2 above (computers without a Windows XP or Vista license already), adding the Windows 7 Beta, RC, or RTM code to the PC does not make you eligible for the Windows 7 Retail Box upgrade since you do not have a qualifying full Windows license for the Windows 7 Upgrade. (Note: You do not have to download the Windows 7 Beta, RC, or RTM code to be eligible for the Windows 7 upgrade because it is the Windows XP or Vista license that qualifies you for the upgrade) Below is a visual of what you do/don’t have in this scenario:
Now one of the comments that someone sent me via my Twitter account was that since the upgrade did physically install over the RTM code, they thought that meant that it must mean that the RTM code is a qualifying product for the Windows 7 Upgrade license to make it a full Windows 7 License. If you look at the first set of pictures above, you will see this is not the case. If you do not have a qualifying Windows license (XP or Vista) to upgrade from, the Upgrade alone is not enough to get you a Windows 7 license. The Beta, RC and RTM trial codes are not qualifying licenses as they are not full product perpetual licenses. They are just limited time trials of pre-release product. Remember, just because something can be done physically, this in no way means that makes it legal.
Hopefully this helps address this question for those of you out there that did wonder this or have seen mentions of this floating around somewhere.
As I noted in an earlier post, I am going to be posting the answers to many of the questions I have received and continue to receive from my Regardless of what any hack says, a Windows 7 Upgrade is an Upgrade. What you need to know post here on the Blog, so please keep the feedback and input coming. You can see many of these questions and answers posted here:
More Answers from Windows 7 Upgrade Install Hack post
Thank you and have a wonderful day,
Eric Ligman – Follow me on TWITTER and RSS Global Partner Experience Lead Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights