Win7: Free Upgrade Policy Caveats and Restrictions

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft is making it worthwhile for consumers to pick up a new Vista PC. Those who buy one can receive a guaranteed free copy of Windows 7 once it becomes available in October.

The offer runs between June 26 and the end of January. The catch is that some PC makers may tack on an additional shipping and handling charge for the updates.

Which PCs Qualify for Windows 7 Upgrade?

PCs equipped with Vista Home Premium, Vista Business or Vista Ultimate will qualify for the offer. Any reservations about your current system should be directed to a local computer retailer or tech service provider.

A few netbooks may qualify for the free upgrade if they are running Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Home Premium. Microsoft continues to look for options as to how netbook systems will be able to load the operating system on these machines, which lack a CD or DVD drive. (Source:

Win7: Upgrade Policy Restrictions

There are some Windows 7 Upgrade rulings expected to leave more than a few people dejected.

The first piece of bad news will come for large companies that wish to purchase a number of Vista PCs in bulk, in hopes of qualifying for the upgrade in October. Microsoft has limited the upgrade offer to a maximum of 25 PCs per organization.

While it may seem a tad harsh, Microsoft would like to remind everyone that the offer is designed for consumers and small businesses. Also, the limit was actually raised from 5 machines to 25 machines.

The second piece of bad news will come for those who purchased Vista PCs before June 26. Since the free upgrade option only took effect last week, these owners will not be issued a free copy of Windows 7.

Pre-Order Program Available Limited Time

Another option is the pre-order program. This allows Windows XP and Vista owners to pre-order a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium for $49 or Windows 7 Professional for $99. (Source:

Although the Vista opportunity runs until January, the pre-order alternative is only offered until July 11.

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