Microsoft Closes Vista Upgrade Loophole

Many computer users prefer to install their operating system "clean" by simply using their old Windows disc to verify they own a copy of the software. However, that appears to no longer be possible using an Upgrade version of Windows Vista.

The Redmond company has apparently taken out the option to do so from upgrade versions of its new operating system, meaning a user would need to purchase a full copy of the OS in order to perform a clean installation. Upgrade discs would only work if a copy of either Windows 2000 or XP is already on the system.

While this is not a problem for most customers, it is sure to anger many in the enthusiast community. Installing clean is probably the best option for those looking to gain the biggest performance increases from a new operating system.

It is unclear as to why Microsoft has made this move, although it has not stopped watchers of the company from commenting on it. "It's not any of our right to abuse a system that was designed to make it easier for people who were upgrading existing installations," Windows enthusiast Robert McLaws wrote for Windows-Now.com.

McLaws offered a possible explanation: with the wide availability of pirated copies of both Windows XP and 2000 on file-sharing sites, the company may have considered this method unreliable to verify whether consumers actually own a copy of the software.

While Microsoft does have Windows Geniune Advantage to do just that, that method only works with the OS installed on the computer and is not tied to the actual physical CD or DVD.

So far, Microsoft has not commented publicly on the situation. However, for those still looking for an inexpensive way to upgrade to Vista in this manner, the advent of OEM software sales of the OS may be the way to go.

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