In-place upgrade, upgrading Windows to a later version or a superior edition of the same version is the only method to upgrade Windows without losing the installed apps and programs. Certain rules apply to an in-place upgrade:
The bit version must remain the same, a 32 bit Windows can only be in-place upgraded to another 32 bit Windows, a 64 bit only to 64 bit
The language version must be exactly the same, US English Vista cannot be in-place upgraded to UK English Windows 7, US English Windows Seven cannot be in-place upgraded to UK English Windows 8
The Windows edition must remain the same or be superior, for example Windows Vista Home Premium can be in-place upgraded to Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional or Ultimate but not to Windows 7 Home Basic or Starter
If and when all three conditions apply, you can in-place upgrade and keep the installed software.
So here we have solve the problems with the intallation of our Apps.
I was interested to see how well the in-place upgrade would keep my apps working if done on the same machine from Windows XP via Vista, Seven and Eight to Windows 10 Technical Preview.
All set up as I wanted, here’s a screenshot of the start situation, XP set up and Vista in-place upgrade installation started:
Upgrade was surprisingly fast and after a reboot or two I was in Vista desktop:
All programs, Windows apps and those I had installed, all working fine. Outlook and Windows Live had the accounts set up, Excel and Word still showed recent documents in File menu.
Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Ultimate
Windows 7 Ultimate had only one compatibility warning, the Vista Ultimate Extras are not compatible with Seven and would be disabled:
Other than that there was again no issues, I had successfully in-place upgraded Windows XP via Vista to Windows 7 Ultimate:
Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 8 Pro
Launching the Windows 8 installer told me all apps, files and settings would be kept:
When the intallation finished. Again no issues with installed programs, everything was working as they did in Windows XP when I started.
Last step in my in-place adventure starts promising, Windows installer tells me everything is kept. No compatibility issues.
Arriving in Windows 10 desktop, everything working.
Email accounts set up back in Windows XP in Windows live Mail and Office XP still working.