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Vista to Windows 7 Free Upgrade Plans Leaked?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 58 comments
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As was what Microsoft offered prior to the release of Windows Vista, the software giant is plotting upgrade options for those who want to purchase a new PC soon, but without being left in the dust once Windows 7 ships.

From reports of the beta experience, Windows 7 is the new Microsoft OS that everyone’s been waiting for -- for both XP and Vista users. Some consumers can’t afford to wait, however, need to purchase new hardware soon. For those such consumer, and those on the fence, Microsoft will offer a program where those who purchase a new PC with Vista within a certain date range will be eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 7.

Tech ARP now claims to to have obtained documents Microsoft sent to OEMs detailing its Windows 7 Upgrade Program. The information is supposedly from December 10, making it entirely possible for conditions to change, though what we’ve read seems believable.

All PCs bought with a Windows Vista license on or after July 1, 2009 to January 1, 2010 qualify for a free upgrade to Windows 7. OEMs may choose to shorten the period within those dates. All upgrade media must be shipped to end users by April 30, 2010.

Only three versions of Windows Vista are eligible, being Home Premium, Business and Ultimate. The upgrades to Windows 7 will correspond to the lateral version; so Home Premium will move to the new equivalent, Business will go to Professional, and Ultimate will be Ultimate.

Upgrades from Windows Vista Home Basic are not part of the program, and there will be no option for users to upgrade to a higher-end version of Windows 7 through the free upgrade program. New computers sold with Windows XP also will not be supported.

While upgrades from a 64-bit version of Vista will get you a 64-bit version of Windows 7, it’s unclear whether or not users can opt to go from 32-bit to 64-bit. It’s certain, however, the the software upgrade process will not allow an in-place upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit.

Those who do receive the free upgrade to Windows 7 will have both options of performing an in-place upgrade as well as doing a clean install.

Although the information does seem to make sense, Microsoft isn’t confirming nor denying any of it. "Microsoft often explores options with our partners to determine product offerings," the Microsoft spokesperson told Betanews. "We are not announcing anything new at this time."

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  • 2 Hide
    jsloan , February 12, 2009 10:22 PM
    cr*p it does not apply to me. what about all the existing vista users. Microsoft could score a victory over apple who is charging for it's upgrade, it could basically give it away or offer it at like $50 for existing vista victims, i mean users :-> they have a lot of cash on hand, if they give it away they would not only look good, but they would backup apple into the corner of looking bad or having to also give it away and not making any money, that would drop apple's stock price and ability to innovate, if you deny them access to new cash from upgrades.
  • 7 Hide
    Tindytim , February 12, 2009 10:31 PM
    Allowing all Vista users to cheaply upgrade would be smart, free would be even smarter. They'd essentially turn the majority of Vista users into Windows 7 users, giving hardware companies huge incentive to create proper drivers, and smaller developers incentive to keep compatibility.
  • 6 Hide
    tayb , February 12, 2009 11:20 PM
    TindytimAllowing all Vista users to cheaply upgrade would be smart, free would be even smarter. They'd essentially turn the majority of Vista users into Windows 7 users, giving hardware companies huge incentive to create proper drivers, and smaller developers incentive to keep compatibility.


    The incentive of a business is to make money, not give away products. There is absolutely no chance in hell that Microsoft will offer free upgrade from Vista to 7 just because some people didn't like it. 0%.
  • 0 Hide
    MrBradley , February 12, 2009 11:37 PM
    We can only pray that microsoft will charge a small fee for existing vista users to upgrade. We have had to sit through this bullshit, we deserve better from micro$oft.
  • -8 Hide
    Spathi , February 12, 2009 11:40 PM
    I paid for vista and never installed it.. never even used the key. They should qualify all people who never used their vista key or went back to XP after using the Visa key for a few months.
  • 3 Hide
    Tindytim , February 12, 2009 11:49 PM
    taybThe incentive of a business is to make money, not give away products. There is absolutely no chance in hell that Microsoft will offer free upgrade from Vista to 7 just because some people didn't like it. 0%.

    How many Businesses are running Vista right now?

    Face it, XP still has the largest market share. Free upgrades would give it a large chuck of the market share out of the gate, increasing development support, and would give Businesses a huge incentive to upgrade.

    Microsoft would make money when Businesses still running XP decide to upgrade to Windows 7.

    However, in order to work, they would have to offer the free upgrade only to people who purchased Vista before the announcement of free upgrade (so you couldn't buy Vista as a cheaper method of getting 7).
  • -1 Hide
    ozarkamax , February 13, 2009 12:18 AM
    just get the system builder/oem version. but wait for the 1st service pack or you'll be sorry.
  • 1 Hide
    tayb , February 13, 2009 12:48 AM
    TindytimHow many Businesses are running Vista right now?Face it, XP still has the largest market share. Free upgrades would give it a large chuck of the market share out of the gate, increasing development support, and would give Businesses a huge incentive to upgrade.Microsoft would make money when Businesses still running XP decide to upgrade to Windows 7.However, in order to work, they would have to offer the free upgrade only to people who purchased Vista before the announcement of free upgrade (so you couldn't buy Vista as a cheaper method of getting 7).


    I'm not saying I necessarily disagree with you but from a business standpoint there is no legitimate argument for giving away the software.

    The businesses still using XP aren't going to switch to Mac OS X or linux so the Windows market share isn't going to change. They are either going to purchase Windows 7 licenses and upgrade their business or they are not. In the eyes of Microsoft every business currently running XP or Vista is a potential buyer. Why would you give away software to a potential buyer?

    Developer support is going to be fine. Programs that work on Vista are 95% likely to work on 7 and those that don't work won't need major re-codes because the basic kernel hasn't changed much. Most software from the past 5 years will be 7-ready out of the gate. Giving away the software isn't going to change that.

    There is just no reason, outside of wishful thinking, for Microsoft to give away the software. None.
  • 0 Hide
    Darkk , February 13, 2009 12:58 AM
    ozarkamaxjust get the system builder/oem version. but wait for the 1st service pack or you'll be sorry.


    They are already sorry so that is your point?
  • -1 Hide
    ozarkamax , February 13, 2009 1:10 AM
    @ Darkk

    sorry as in sorry they did not wait till after they patched windows 7 to buy it.
  • 3 Hide
    ag3nt smith , February 13, 2009 1:17 AM
    Vista (after SP1) is a fair OS. I haven't had any problems with it and I bought it the 2nd week it was out. Microsoft will not just sell the software for free, they may reduce the price though. I suggest Microsoft clip the price for users who bought their comp with Vista by at least 50, clip the system builders by 25 and sell the rest at market prices... or at least give them free tech support till SP2 for 7 comes out.
  • 0 Hide
    jsloan , February 13, 2009 1:51 AM
    MrBradleyWe can only pray that microsoft will charge a small fee for existing vista users to upgrade. We have had to sit through this bullshit, we deserve better from micro$oft.


    I read somewhere that the upgrade will cost like $250, ouch!
  • 1 Hide
    Tindytim , February 13, 2009 2:43 AM
    taybIn the eyes of Microsoft every business currently running XP or Vista is a potential buyer. Why would you give away software to a potential buyer?

    Maybe you misunderstood what I said. I'm not saying the upgrade path from XP should be free, just the one from Vista.

    taybThere is just no reason, outside of wishful thinking, for Microsoft to give away the software. None.

    You don't think it would enhance the perception of Windows 7 in the eyes of the general public?
  • -2 Hide
    kewl munky , February 13, 2009 2:59 AM
    All Windows 7 is is Vista with a nice service pack on it. They could and SHOULD release a service pack or some update for Vista users. I think it's stupid that if you knew 7 was coming and you still bought Vista Microsoft will give you the new OS when you knew it was coming. That, compared to us who bought Vista right away without knowing Microsoft would screw us over. It should be those who were in the unknown who should get a break, not the ones who were stupid enough to buy Vista when they knew about 7.
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , February 13, 2009 3:09 AM
    I have 2 legit copies of vista that I never used, instead I just kept using xp. Unless MS offers a really good upgrade price from vista to 7, I am not going to use 7.

    If I did not own vista, I would be more willing to buy 7 if they did offer a low upgrade price for existing vista users, although it would not effect me directly. The last thing any consumer dreads is for 7 to be a flop like vista, if MS shows consumer appreciation with low priced upgrades, people would be more willing to buy 7 outright because there is a good chance that history would repeat itself and MS would give them a low priced upgrade to Vista2 if 7 turns out to be a turd pie.

  • 2 Hide
    ozarkamax , February 13, 2009 3:14 AM
    Kewl MunkyAll Windows 7 is is Vista with a nice service pack on it. They could and SHOULD release a service pack or some update for Vista users. I think it's stupid that if you knew 7 was coming and you still bought Vista Microsoft will give you the new OS when you knew it was coming. That, compared to us who bought Vista right away without knowing Microsoft would screw us over. It should be those who were in the unknown who should get a break, not the ones who were stupid enough to buy Vista when they knew about 7.



    you can get 64 bit premium for 99.99 and it will support the 4 gigs of ram most people will at least get for a new system. not stupid. stupid would be buying windows 7 day one of release and complaining that there is no driver/software support.
  • 1 Hide
    Tindytim , February 13, 2009 3:24 AM
    Kewl MunkyAll Windows 7 is is Vista with a nice service pack on it. They could and SHOULD release a service pack or some update for Vista users.

    Vista SP2 beta was already released. It will be coming out before Windows 7, and will include DirectX 11.

    Kewl MunkyI think it's stupid that if you knew 7 was coming and you still bought Vista Microsoft will give you the new OS when you knew it was coming.

    It's for people who are trying to decide whether or not to buy a new computer now, or wait until Windows 7 comes out.
  • 0 Hide
    Sad Panda , February 13, 2009 3:57 AM
    I plan on getting my upgrade for free, except I'm not upgrading and MicroSoft won't be giving it...
  • 2 Hide
    photoguru , February 13, 2009 7:13 AM
    Funny... there's no possible way for Apple to take over the OS market. Apple doesn't actually want it to; unless that means that over half of the computers sold were made by Apple.

    Stop being such a fagtard elitist and realize that Apple isn't trying to have an answer for everyone's needs. They do what they do best... get people like you to buy into their superior image.

    I work all day on the glorious 8 core MacPros and I usually can't wait to get home and fire up my real computer. Maybe it's just me but everything is much more responsive on a decent PC.
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