According to TechARP.com, Microsoft has gone ahead and begun to offer details of its upgrade program for those who buy Vista machines before Windows 7 releases late this year to its partners. In some cases customers may be eligible for a free upgrade.
Those who purchase a Vista machine between July 1 and a yet to be determined date would be eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 7. Users of Vista Home Premium, Business, and Ultimate would be eligible for the program.
This particular program is aimed at individual consumers — multi-license purchasers would not qualify under this program. Microsoft said those customers should use the “appropriate” volume licensing program for their upgrade path (there’s no mention of a free/discounted upgrade offer for those folks as of yet).
Upgrade paths would go as follows:
- Vista Home Premium -> Windows 7 Home Premium
- Vista Business -> Windows 7 Professional
- Vista Ultimate -> Windows 7 Ultimate
Microsoft’s OEM partners would be shipped copies of the OS, and it would be their responsibility to ship them to the customer. However, customers would have to wait until Win 7 officially releases, obviously.
So how much can we trust Tech ARP? These folks do have a good track record: they have been able to nail down RTM dates in the past, including the release of Vista SP1. We shall see if they are right again.