Friday, January 16, 2009

Microsoft to do free Windows 7 upgrades As Report

(Computerworld) Microsoft Corp. would be offer free or discounted Windows 7 upgrades to users who buy Vista PCs after July 1, according to a Web site that has precisely expected the company's moves in the past.

According to TechARP, Microsoft will allow original equipment manufacturers to purchase Windows 7 upgrade media, which they can then propose to customers who buy a Vista-power system between July 1, 2009 and a date to be determined.

The improvements, however, would not be shipped to those PC buyers until the general availability date for Windows 7. Microsoft has not set a release for the new operating system, and instead has stuck to a broad range of dates, from late 2009 to early 2010.

The Windows 7 upgrade plan as spelled out by TechARP look liked the earlier Vista Express Upgrade. In that program, person who bought Windows XP PCs between Oct. 26, 2006 and March 15, 2007 were eligible to receive free or inexpensive Vista upgrades.

Upgrades will be accessible from Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Home Premium, and from Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Ultimate, said TechARP. Purchasers of PCs provided with Vista Business will be able to upgrade to a Windows 7 Professional.

Microsoft and its hardware partners will be hoping for a smoother road to the upgrades this time around. Vista Express Upgrade was overwhelmed with problems, including delays before users received their upgrade discs. In February 2007, nearly a month after Vista hit retail shelf, for instance, users swamped Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. support forums with angry messages about the wait.

In 2006 and 2007, PC makers charged a range of prices for the XP-to-Vista upgrades. HP computer provided free upgrades, while others, including Dell Computer Support.

Microsoft declined to comment on the TechARP posting. "We often explore options with our partners for how we offer products, but we have nothing to announce at this time," a company spokeswoman said Tuesday.

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