It's common knowledge that people who have purchased a PC recently, or plan to do so in the near future, will (most likely) have it come with Windows Vista installed. It's also common knowledge that Microsoft will allow people to upgrade from this to Windows 7 for a greatly discounted price, but it's only now that some details have been clarified on this.
According to PC World, computer vendors will begin a coupon program on June 26, for people who buy premium versions of Windows Vista. These coupon offers differ from vendor to vendor; some are free, whereas some are not. PC World states that three vendors from Taiwan will provide a free coupon that allows customers to upgrade to Windows 7, if they purchase a PC or laptop between the aforementioned date and October 22, the release date for the new operating system. Apparently the vendors did not wish to be named, in fear of their relationship with Microsoft being hurt, as the Redmond company has not yet published official details about this program.
An executive of one of the mentioned companies stated that this program will cost the vendors between US $9 and $15, so offering them for free is quite handy to customers; with the information on the coupons, people who purchase a PC will be able to download a retail copy of Windows 7 direct from Microsoft's website, upon release. Not only this, but the company will also send the consumer a physical copy of the operating system, presumably for free also. Another executive stated that the coupons will not expire until Jan 31, 2010, but they are designed to convince people to purchase a PC before Windows 7 is released.
PC vendors are apparently worried that since Windows 7 will not be out until October, consumers will choose to hold off on purchasing new computers until that date, leading to poor sales all throughout summer; this is exactly what the coupon program aims to fix. It should be noted that if you happen to purchase a netbook running Windows XP, you will not be offered a coupon. One executive seemed to be worried about this, as the devices are extremely popular due to the benefits they provide.
Other companies, such as Hewlett-Packard, will be participating in this program, but they won't reveal their upgrade plans until after Microsoft officially discloses the information.