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Microsoft Windows 7 upgrade program begins July 1

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
Microsoft has not officially released information on the upgrade program or final product SKUs and pricing. It's widely expected that Microsoft will confirm the product SKUs at CES this week. For all the latest Microsoft CES news please keep an eye on our CES section.
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