Rants In Our Pants

6 Reasons Why the Windows 7 Upgrade Takes So Long

Upgrading to Windows 7 could take as long as 20 hours, Microsoft has confessed. But why? We have some theories.

By (@JRRaphael)

September 14, 2009

Microsoft Windows 7 UpgradeWant to upgrade your system to Windows 7? No problem — just clear out a full day in your schedule, and you’ll be all set.

The Vista-to-Windows 7 upgrade could take up to 20 hours to complete, Microsoft confirms. That’d be a whopping 1200 times of intercoursing, assuming you’re a man-of-the-minute variety. (Just trying to give some perspective for our stamina-challenged friends.)

So what in the hell could an operating system be doing for that long? Microsoft claims the nearly day-long delay is a result of users having “an enormous data set and a large number of installed applications.” We don’t buy it, though; we think there has to be a better explanation.

Here are six theories.

1. Market research.

That’s how long it takes for the system to figure out why the hell you were using Vista in the first place.

2. Browser battles.

The scary upgrade time might convince you to do a clean install, thereby increasing the odds of your getting lazy and leaving Internet Explorer as the default browser. How else is Microsoft supposed to get people to use IE?

3. Clippy did the coding.

Microsoft’s annoying “virtual assistant” wasn’t canned; he was just moved to the Windows 7 coding department. Unfortunately, that little shit is as bad at programming as he was at “assisting” you with Office.

4. Racial customization.

Using its new super-high-tech eRace 1.0 software, Windows 7 searches your hard drive for clues about your ethnicity and then customizes your new interface accordingly. Hey, it seemed to go over well in that ad campaign last month — why not apply it to an entire OS?

5. The Bing bribe.

Nothing’s actually happening during the delay; in fact, an on-screen dialogue box will offer you the option to cut your install time by 19 hours — if you agree to sign a legally binding agreement to use Bing as your exclusive search engine. (Oh, come on…it’s not that much of a stretch.)

6. Verifying which of the 10,532 upgrade packages you purchased.

The software has to verify which Windows 7 package you purchased — you know, the $49.99 Windows 7 Home Premium package that was available from June 26 to July 11; the $99.99 Windows 7 Professional edition available from June 26 to July 11; the $119.99 Windows Home Premium sold after July 11; the $219.99 Windows 7 Ultimate package; or the Windows 7 Upgrade Option given to people who purchased new Vista PCs between June 26 and January 2010.

That’s a lot of dumb shit to check. It takes a while.

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