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Mac OS X Upgrades

Spotted around the interwebs recently is a Windows 7 Upgrade Chart that details which versions of Windows can be upgraded to Windows 7 by upgrading in place, and which versions need a clean install, or in Microsoft speak, a Custom Install.

With the upcoming release of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, I’ve drawn up a chart to cover the same thing and dispel any confusion.

7 thoughts on “Mac OS X Upgrades

  1. I get the humour. Windows upgrades were always a bag of bolts and I wouldn’t trust any Windows ‘In-Place Upgrade’ install for more than a couple of weeks. You’re sure to be turning around and getting your machine ‘Custom’ installed again.

    Best bet would be to get a new drive and install on that.

    On the Mac side (the brighter side, perhaps), you actually have a further few options beyond In-Place Upgrade.

    Erase and Install
    Archive and Install
    Clean Install and restore from your Time Machine backup
    Clean install then Migrate from your old/other machine
    Install on another drive and Migrate
    Do a live repartition on your drive, install Snow Leopard on that then migrate.

    Much more flexible, and most of these methods (bar the first one) allow you to keep your already installed applications, documents and preferences. And all done without purchasing any Third-Party utility to assist you in this process — there’s sure to be a whole new market here on the Windows platform for Software products to achieve this for you!

  2. You forgot one issue with the OS X upgrade. First you will need to determine what type of processor you are running.

    If you are running a PPC, then there is a custom upgrade path — go buy a new Mac!

  3. That is not really a fair comparison is it? XP-Win7 = 9 years, which includes a complete rewrite of the kernel, and making .NET a fundamental OS component. I’m quite amazed that they even support an in-place upgrade for XP. I’ve been beta testing Win7 and runs great on a VM with 512 MB of RAM. Vista was lousy, but I do think Win7 deserves a proper evaluation.

  4. Hi Shivanand,

    You’re right, it’s not really a fair comparison – it was intended to be quite tongue-in-cheek…

    Given this, in general usage these days, I see my clients running anything from XP onwards and 10.4 onwards. There’s the odd machine with Win2k or 10.3 but they’re pretty rare.

    I’m also going to be giving Windows 7 a good go, among other things my accounting software runs on Windows – yes, accounting packages for Mac OS X generally suck or are useless. MYOB? No way! QuickBooks for Mac? Yes, if you’re in the USA. Online/Cloud offerings – I prefer to keep this kind of information closer than that…

  5. @Shivanand: it’s true that XP-to-Win7 is a long time.

    But if Vista is lousy, why is Win7 any better? Underneath it all, it’s just Vista SP2. The fact that MS is charging for it is obscene, but I guess they need to to try to convince people it’s different when really it isn’t

  6. Hi Shivanand,
    Vista is the Win-ME story all over again (What’s new?).

    Don’t agree with Charlie’s statement “I wouldn’t trust any Windows ‘In-Place Upgrade’ install for more than a couple of weeks” I can dispute the “any” part of his statement as I still run a 486DX2-66 (1994 Model) on which I used “In-Place Upgrades” starting with DOS6.22 through W3.1, W3.11, W95 to W98 but MS dose not make that kind of OS anymore and they lost the plot a long time ago.

  7. Gudufl: You’ve had very good luck with your experience on those very old OSs, But we’re talking XP to Win7 here, would you really want to do an upgrade of a XP machine to Win7? Especially if you’ve installed a few apps over the years, and potentially had the threat or infiltration of a virus or 10 (thousand?) over that time…

    With so many options in MS’s table of upgrade possibilities and the relatively few situations where an upgrade in place is offered, there surely must be issues. How could they have thoroughly tested all the possibilities and permutations, given the biggest headache in the upgrade is the upgrade/transfer of the registry that’s been modified by programs and users during the XP installation’s life.

    Perhaps the few opportunities to do an upgrade in place that are available, are the ones that MS could actually make workable….

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