If you wish to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7, be prepared to back up all your data, wipe out your hard drive, install a clean version of Windows 7, and reinstall all your applications. You can't "upgrade" directly from XP to Win7 and keep all your files/applications/etc. You can do this from Vista (as long as you have Service Pack 1), but not from XP. So, is it worth upgrading to Win7 if you're using XP? If you're using a mobile computer or a tablet PC, I would say "yes." If you're using a desktop, then I would advise that you stick with XP.
If you're running Windows Vista, you'll definitely want to upgrade to Windows 7 - regardless of whether you're using a laptop or desktop. Just my opinions based on my tests and experiments on over 10 different types of computers ranging from older to newer PCs.
If you're on XP and you don't want to reinstall everything, here's one alternative:
- Upgrade to Vista (you just need a Vista DVD - no key is required (you can leave that field blank when it prompts you for a key) and you can use Vista for 30 days before activating it. Make sure you select the "upgrade" option - otherwise you will have to reinstall all your applications.
- After you upgrade to Vista, make sure you install Service Pack 1. You can download this file directly from Microsoft.
- Once you're running Vista, there's no need to activate Vista. Simply insert the Windows 7 upgrade disk and proceed to upgrade the OS to Win7. After you do that, you'll need the activation key for Win7.