What versions of Windows qualify for the Windows 7 Retail Box upgrade?

Given below is the post from my friend Eric of Microsoft . It answers an important question on who can upgrade to Windows 7 upgrade Full Pack. 

A question that has been raised by several people so far after reading my, “Regardless of what any hack says, a Windows 7 Upgrade is an Upgrade. What you need to know” post is, “You mentioned that you have to have a full license for a qualifying version of Windows to be eligible for the Windows 7 Retail Box upgrade.  What are the qualifying versions of Windows for the Retail Box upgrade for Windows 7?”

The answer to this question is actually quite simple.  To qualify for the Windows 7 Retail Box upgrade, your computer must have a full license for Windows XP (any edition) or Windows Vista (any edition).  If you only have a license for any version prior to Windows XP, then you do not qualify for the Windows 7 Retail Box upgrade and would be required to purchase a Full Windows 7 license to run Windows 7 on your computer legally.

Now, a follow-up question that I did receive to this question from some readers of my Blog was, “You mention you have to have the FULL Windows license for either Windows XP or Windows Vista to qualify for the Windows 7 Retail Box upgrade; however, on my computer, I had Windows 2000 Professional and then upgraded it to Windows XP Professional through the Retail Box upgrade back then.  Since my Windows XP license is the upgrade and not the full Windows XP license, do I still qualify?”

Let’s take a look at this scenario:

As you may have seen in several of my previous posts:

So in your scenario, you had a full Windows 2000 Professional license for your computer, then you added the Windows XP Professional Upgrade license to it.  This would put you in the first example above, meaning you have a license to run Windows XP Professional on your computer.  So if you now wish to add the Windows 7 Retail Box upgrade to that computer, you computer is licensed to run Windows XP Professional (because of the Windows 2000 Professional full license + the Windows XP Professional Upgrade), so you would qualify for the Windows 7 Retail Box upgrade for that computer.

I hope that helps answer your questions on this.


with warm regards


Suresh Ramani


Microsoft MVP






About Suresh Ramani

I am a CEO of a Technology Solutions Provider "TechGyan" ( Gyan in Sanskrit means "knowledge") . My Company is based out of Mumbai, India . My Company provides Solutions to Customers ( Local & International) around Microsoft Platform. In 2009, Microsoft nominated me as a Most Valuable Professional (MVP). During week ends I provide Redevelopment Consultancy to Societies in Mumbai . The details of the same are listed on www.tdrmumbai.in My hobbies are reading Management Books . Like most of Indians , I love game of Cricket and Hindi Songs.
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