CHART OF THE DAY: Microsoft's Windows 7 Upgrade Mess

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One of Microsoft’s (MSFT) biggest challenges with Windows 7 is an easy upgrade path for consumers and corporations.

As this chart illustrates, it’s a mess: Only a few upgrade paths qualify for an “in-place upgrade,” which means you can keep “files, settings, and programs intact from your current Windows version.” Most will require a “custom install,” which WSJ gadget guru Walt Mossberg describes as “a tedious, painful process” for “most average, nontechie consumers whose PCs have a single hard disk.”

This suggests that many may be best off waiting to get Windows 7 — pre-installed — the next time they buy a new computer. (Via All Things D.)

Here’s some more information Microsoft supplied:

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