It was only a matter of time. While most of the Windows 7 launch went very smoothly, reports of its first major troubles are filtering in. Thankfully, these issues don't seem to have anything to do with the software itself. Rather, the problem looks to be due to the way Microsoft is distributing their student upgrade editions online. As Engadget notes, students trying to upgrade from 32-bit Vista to Win 7 via the $29 online student update are having trouble.
The issue stems from the fact that the file doesn't unpack into an ISO. It just comes out as an executable file that does not work as it should. The whole install process glitches up and crashes when it tries to launch a 64-bit app on a 32-bit computer system. It's strange to me that Microsoft should be having this issue. Before the launch, they seeded hundreds of ISO files of the Win 7 beta. Why not just use the same dispensation method now? It's already been tested!
Microsoft wouldn't be Microsoft if they didn't screw up easy things for no good reason. For what little it's worth, Microsoft has announced that they are working on a solution, so bully on them. With any luck, they'll have the download repackaged and working right before some enterprising young hackers come up with an easy way to convert the file to an ISO and start seeding it illegally. Oh, wait, they've been doing that for months.
Attention: Microsoft and ALL OTHER software developers. If you do not want your products pirated, you need to make acquiring them legally as easy, if not easier than acquiring them illegally. When buying a legal copy of Windows 7 costs money AND involves more hassle than stealing it, people are going to steal the hell out of it. I'm not saying their behavior is justified, but it is easy to understand. Stop screwing up like this and you WILL see a drop in piracy.