No Clean Installs With Upgrade Versions of Vista

Planning on formatting your hard drive to lay down a nice, clean install of Vista Ultimate Home Premium where you had XP? Well then you had better plan on spending $80 more than you originally intended. It turns out that upgrade versions of Vista won't accept your old XP CD as proof that you really are just upgrading—you actually have to install Vista on top of XP. This annoys the hell out of me because clean installs simply make for better performing machines. Why is Microsoft making our lives difficult?

Ken Fisher at Ars thinks Microsoft is trying to prevent users from using the same copy of Vista on successive computers over the next (probably) several years. In other words, every time you build a new computer, rather than moving Vista over from your old machine, they want you to buy a new copy.

Microsoft hinted at this late last year with the licensing scheme they initially unveiled. Of course, it was so blatantly restrictive, the backlash on the net was deafening, and Microsoft quickly reneged, seemingly back to a more traditional Windows licensing setup. Since this setup more or less repeats the effects of the recanted scheme, it's possible we'll see a similar uproar over the next week.

Vista "upgrade" drops compliance checking, requires old OS to install [Ars Technica]