Microsoft Announces Windows 7 Upgrade Plans

Good news, Windows fans/users. If you're in need of a PC now, but don't want to miss out on the Windows 7 train which officially leaves the station on October 22nd, Microsoft is stepping in to help. Today, the software giant announced that starting tomorrow (June 26th), consumers and small businesses that purchase a Vista-enabled PC from a participating computer maker or retailer will qualify for a free or low-cost upgrade to Windows 7.

Unfortunately, it's hard to say exactly who those "qualified retailers/vendors" are, but we know for a fact that HP and Sony will be included. We have all ideas that most legitimate places will also abide by these rules--companies like Gateway, Dell, Acer, Asus, etc. Under the program, designated PCs pre-installed with premium versions of Windows Vista will qualify for licenses of the equivalent Windows 7 product.

“There is a lot of excitement for Windows 7 in the marketplace today. However, many consumers need a new Windows PC for school, work or home before October 22,” said Brad Brooks, corporate vice president, Windows consumer marketing at Microsoft. “So starting June 26th, any customer who buys a PC from a participating computer maker or retailer with Windows Vista Home Premium, Business or Ultimate will also receive an upgrade to the corresponding version of Window 7 at little or no cost.”

The Windows 7 licenses will be provided to computer manufacturers at no charge from Microsoft; some manufacturers may require some modest payment for costs such as shipping and handling. This program is generally available through January 31, 2010 from computer manufacturers and participating retail partners selling qualifying editions of Windows Vista. Customers should check with computer manufacturers and retailers for more information on specific program details.

Retail packaged Windows Vista software products may also qualify for an upgrade to the equivalent Windows 7 product with participating retailers in participating markets. The Windows 7 licenses may be offered for free or at a discounted price to qualifying customers when the Windows 7 product becomes available in the market.

So, feel good about buying a new PC now and getting a free or low-cost upgrade later. Just make sure you double-check with whatever outlet you purchase from that they are participating in Microsoft's upgrade program first.