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Parallels Desktop Upgrade to Windows 7 review

Karl Wright
11 Jul 2010
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
35
inc VAT

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Upgrading from an older version of Windows to Windows 7 can prove to be a bit of a nightmare, but with Desktop Upgrade to Windows 7, Parallels hopes to make things easier. It's designed for non-techy users wanting to make the upgrade and works in two scenarios.

First, for people who've bought a new computer, Desktop Upgrade will transfer your existing programs and settings to your new computer. As some applications may not work in Windows 7, Desktop Upgrade bundles your old computer into a virtual machine so you can access it in its entirety.

Secondly, for anyone that wants to upgrade their existing machine, Desktop Upgrade automatically retains your existing settings and applications, saving the entire original machine as a virtual computer, in case some programs don't work in Windows 7. This is an important step for many people, as some Windows 7 upgrades, such as from Windows XP, require a clean installation that wipes your PC of its existing applications and settings.

Parallels Desktop Upgrade to Windows 7

To test, we upgraded two machines with the software, one running XP Professional, the other Vista Ultimate. The upgrade process in both cases is straightforward. You install Parallels Desktop and tell it whether you want to upgrade the PC it’s running on or migrate your programs and settings to a new Windows 7 PC. Currently for new computers you can migrate files over a network or using a hard disk; however, a version of Desktop Upgrade with an included USB transfer cable should now be on sale.

Parallels Desktop Upgrade to Windows 7 video

In both cases we chose to upgrade our existing PC. Once Parallels is running, it quite literally talks you through what you have to do, with a video in the right-hand corner of your screen telling you when to put your Windows 7 CD in the computer, when to enter your serial number and so on. After a while, you’re politely told that you’re no longer necessary and can check back in an hour or two. During this time Parallels does its thing and when you come back, you should find a working Windows 7 PC with all your old programs on it.

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