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Operating Systems

Results of the Windows 7 upgrade poll

Many, but not all, people who upgraded to Windows 7 over the weekend say it was easy as pie. Read on to find out what CNET readers thought of the upgrade experience.

Over the weekend, CNET ran an unscientific poll inquiring about the level of difficulty in your Windows 7 upgrade experience, and the response we received was undoubtedly strong. Nearly 11,000 people voted, and more than 50 percent of you said your Windows 7 upgrade experience was as easy as pie. (And who doesn't love pie?)

We asked people to rate their upgrade experience from one to five, with one being the easiest and five being the hardest. A total of 5,492 people evaluated the upgrade experience as a one, but the second-most popular answer, at 16 percent, was five, indicating an unnecessarily hard upgrade. Sticking with the pie analogy, that's basically having to do all the cleaning up without getting to eat any.

The third-most popular answer was two, indicating a fairly easy but not flawless upgrade process for 14 percent of voters. The three answer garnered 8 percent of the vote, with 927 votes, and four scored 809 votes, for 7 percent.

Combining the two extremes, then, we can see that more than two-thirds of voters said upgrading was easy or fairly easy, while less than a quarter said the process was hard or unnecessarily difficult. Compared to what most people remember from their Vista experience, that's a dramatic, if anecdotal, change.

If you're planning on upgrading but haven't yet, there are several tools and links that Microsoft has provided to make the change easier. Microsoft has published guides to upgrading from XP to Windows 7 and from Vista to Windows 7, and it has also rounded up its upgrade and installation FAQs onto one convenient page.

The Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor is a useful tool for evaluating your current hardware situation, and it gives you a "Windows experience" rating so you can decide whether it can handle Windows 7 before you buy. Windows Easy Transfer will help most users migrate their files and settings, though there have been reports of not all settings getting moved smoothly. It won't migrate programs.