According to a draft announcement leaked to TechArp by a Microsoft OEM partner, the company is planning on allowing users who purchase new PC/laptop hardware (with Vista) from 1st July 2009 onwards, a free upgrade to Windows 7.
The draft states "Windows Vista PCs preinstalled with qualifying software must be purchased by end users between these dates. OEMs may choose to offer a shorter program period within the allowed date range." The dates are 1st July 2009 to general availability of Windows 7 which is currently un-announced.
Upgrade paths are also listed meaning those with Windows Vista Home Premium can upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows Vista Business to Windows 7 Professional and Windows Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Ultimate.
- A language version of the qualifying Windows Vista product can only be upgraded to the same language version of the Windows 7 upgrade software.
- The Windows Vista product can only be upgraded to the associated edition of the upgrade software. For example, Windows Vista Home Premium K edition can only be upgraded to Windows 7 Home Premium K edition.
- OEMs must ship media as defined in these permitted upgrade paths. No other upgrade paths are available and supported under the Program.
- If an end user attempts to upgrade to an unsupported upgrade path, the end user may have to re-format the PC hard drive and/or may lose applications, files and settings available with the previous installed version of Windows. For example, the following upgrades are not allowed in the program :
- Upgrades from Windows Vista Home Basic or Windows Vista Starter
- Upgrades from Windows Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate
- Upgrades from Windows Vista Business to Windows 7 Ultimate