The Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program has been officially confirmed by Microsoft, although the only certain aspect of the initiative is the label, at this point in time. The incentive program that the Redmond-based company will run together with OEM partners was previously referred to as the Windows 7 Technical Guarantee Program. The software giant started sharing details with its partners as early as November/December 2008, but it was only when Microsoft announced that Windows 7 would RTM in mid-July and would be available on October 22, 2009 that the software giant also referenced the Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program.
“Some people may not be able to wait for Windows 7 to arrive before having to order a new PC (like parents who are sending their sons or daughters off to school who need of a PC to take with them). Fortunately, there is no need to wait. Soon, customers will be able to take advantage of the Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program. This program enables participating retailers and OEMs to offer a special deal to upgrade to Windows 7 for customers purchasing a qualifying PC. I’ll be [providing additional details] about this program with a date and more details when we get closer to availability,” promised Brandon LeBlanc, Windows Communications Manager on the Windows Client Communications Team.
This is all that Microsoft is willing to reveal about the Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program as of yet. However, actual details were leaked by TechARP a while back. Via the program, the Redmond-based company is working with original equipment manufacturers to keep customers buying Windows Vista PCs, by guaranteeing free upgrades to Windows 7 when it becomes available.
Only new machines preinstalled with Windows Vista Home Premium, Business and Ultimate will be eligible for free upgrades to corresponding Windows 7 editions, namely Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate SKUs. Additional details will be made available after June 26, 2009.