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Microsoft today confirmed that users can apply a workaround trick to do a clean install of Windows 7 on a blank hard drive as long as they toe the licensing line. In a blog post earlier this week, Eric Ligman, who works in Microsoft's worldwide partner group, took exception to stories that showed people how to use the less-expensive Windows 7 upgrade editions to install the new operating system on blank drives. Computerworld covered the upgrade install trick - first reported by noted Windows blogger Paul Thurrott - last Friday. "Over the past several days there have been various posts, etc. across a variety of social media engines stating that some 'hack' (be it a person or a procedure) shows that a Windows 7 Upgrade disc can perform a 'clean' installation of Windows 7 on a blank drive from a technical perspective," said Ligman. "They often forgot to mention a very basic, yet very important piece of information," said Ligman about Thurrott's blog post and the resulting reports by others. "'Technically possible' does not always mean legal," Ligman said.
Addendum - Well you could always do a clean install of a borrowed copy of vista, then don't put in the code and then do an upgrade from vista to 7... and it does work and its quazi legal too methinks.