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Those who want to move from the beta version of Windows 7 to the upcoming "release candidate" version will be able to do so, but it is going to take some work.

In a blog posting on Tuesday, Microsoft said that it is offering two options for going from the beta to the newer test version, which is due shortly. Neither is all that easy.

The recommended approach, Microsoft said, is to go back to Windows Vista and upgrade from that. Microsoft asked testers to follow this approach as it will help the company get more feedback on the experience that the typical user will have in going from Vista to Windows 7.

Those who really want to upgrade directly from the beta to the release candidate will be able to do so, but only using a series of convoluted steps.

"We know many people (including tens of thousands at Microsoft) are relying on the pre-release builds of Windows 7 for mission critical and daily work, making this step less than convenient," the company acknowledged in its blog. "We're working hard to provide the highest quality release we can and so we'd like to make sure for this final phase of testing we're supporting the most real world scenarios possible, which incremental build to build upgrades are not. At the same time everyone on the beta has been so great we wanted to make sure we at least offered an opportunity to make your own expert and informed choice about how to handle the upgrade."
The company also cautioned that the same hassles will apply for those moving from the release candidate to the final version of Windows 7.

Ina Fried
During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.

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