Report: PC makers to provide free Vista-to Win-7 upgrades starting July 1

Report: PC makers to provide free Vista-to Win-7 upgrades starting July 1

Summary: In yet another indicator as to the progress of Windows 7, the Tech ARP site reported that Microsoft plans to allow PC makers to offer customers who buy Windows Vista machines as of July 1 free upgrades to Windows 7 once it ships.

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In yet another indicator as to the progress of Windows 7, the Tech ARP site reported that Microsoft plans to allow PC makers to offer customers who buy Windows Vista machines as of July 1 free upgrades to Windows 7 once it ships.

It looks as if Tech ARP may have obtained internal Microsoft information on its Windows 7 Technical Guarantee program. The Web site says that Microsoft provided PC partners with a first pass draft of its Tech Guarantee documentation on December 10.

According to a December posting on the Tech ARP site, Windows Vista PCs must be purchased by end users ... between July 1, 2009 through TBD (to be determined)" to qualify for the Windows 7 Tech Guarantee program. The wording notes that "OEMs may choose to offer a shorter program period within the allowed date range."

Windows Vista Home Premium purchasers will get a free upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium, the site says. Windows Vista Business users will get an upgrade to Windows 7 Professional. And users who buy PCs running Windows Vista Ultimate starting July 1 will get a free upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate.

(I asked Microsoft for comment on the information on the Tech ARP site on the Win 7 Tech Guarantee program. No word back so far.)

Update: A statement delivered ia a spokesperson:  "We often explore options with our partners for how we offer products, but we have nothing to announce at this time."

Customers will receive the free Windows 7 updates some time after Windows 7 becomes generally available -- a date not mentioned in the Tech ARP posting (and probably also not in the Microsoft documentation, given how tight-to-the-vest Microsoft is continuing to be with its Windows 7 ship schedule).

Some time in calendar Q3 2009 seems to be the new whisper date for Windows 7 release-to-manufacturing. Microsoft is STILL saying early 2010 is the official RTM target. Sigh.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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73 comments
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  • Seems like you're setting them up for failure

    every time you say it's going to be released 3Q-2009 even though they insist it's 1Q-2010.
    Michael Kelly
    • setting up

      Hi, Michael. No, I am not setting them up to fail.

      I worry they are failing some of their customers, though, by not giving them the real ship date targets.

      I understand they want to underpromise/overdeliver. And by saying early 2010, they are hardly likely to be "late." But if you are someone in a company -- or a consumer -- trying to plan when and if to buy a Vista PC or wait for Win 7, it isn't very good business practice to be unable to get a straight answer from Microsoft as to when to expect it.

      Microsoft says they are keeping customers in the loop on their schedule. I talk to a lot of IT folks at companies of all sizes. They are all being given different guidance. In some cases, they are being given none.

      MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
      • Well by announcing July 1 as the date for the free upgrade

        aren't they giving customers what they need? That tells me they are taking pre-orders as of 3Q-2009 but not necessarily shipping by then.

        I could perhaps see why OEMs and developers would want a better idea as whether it's 3Q or 1Q (since that is six whole months, which is half or more of a cycle to most of them), but if they say Vista compatibility will guarantee Win7 compatibility and [u]they stick to that[/u] then it shouldn't affect them the way it has in the past.

        Personally I can see a lot of reasons for MS to stick to their released schedule [u]even if it's ready early[/u], because there will still be the upgrade coupon (so sales won't slow down) and because it does give them a cushion, not only if they run into problems, but they can also let a release candidate hang out there for a quarter or so. That extra time might prevent the fiasco Vista had when OEMs and developers were not ready for Vista.
        Michael Kelly
        • Well thought out.

          I agree with everything you are saying here. And just the chance of missing an early date, and the grief MS would get from that, can not be overstated. Or as you say, there are vendors not ready and they end up with another Vista-like fiasco. <br><br>
          It's very obvious that they cannot promise this year. <br><br>
          But i wonder what this announcement will do to Vista sales for the Q1 and Q2. I'm not sure how Vista is doing on the whole right now, but this is sure to puncture any bit of momentum it might have until Q3. This seriously negates the prospects of ANY new Vista rollouts from now until July 1. <br><br>
          I suppose those who were ready to start planning a Vista rollout will still be doing so, just later than expected so it won't really affect revenues for the year overall. <br><br>
          My personal experience with Vista has been overwhelmingly positive. So much so with my home machine that I simply don't understand many of the criticisms. I honestly prefer Vista over XP by far. Vista is a very stable and secure environment. It is more than fast enough on my machine, which can now be had for less than 1000.00 The only thing I see as a problem is Microsoft getting people to move to 64 bit. the 32 bit machines i support are fine. They are mostly 500.00 Dells from walmart, the older ones have 2GB of RAM, 3GB for the newest ones, 17" flatscreen, not very liberal with the usb ports but they have a huge drive and are pleny fast. They are also Home Premium machines so the user can do one helluvalot for 500 bucks. Media Center is sweet.
          <br><br>
          More secure, more stable, more pleasing to the eye, better and more diagnostics, great network client tools....the goodness is there, what is the bad? I haven't noticed it, but then i'm not stupid enough ot try and run Vista ultimate x64 on an old gateway with 512MB of RAM either and I don't care if it won't run there. It's designed for new and better functionality, just like any windows OS, the specs went up....and it always ends up being widely loved. There was an unusually large group, beyond steve jobs and Co. trying to bring vista down though, so it will never see the XP market.
          xuniL_z
      • When To Buy????

        "...trying to plan when and if to buy a Vista PC or wait for Win 7,..."

        No one ought to base a buying decision on when the next iteration of the OS comes out - that need not be a factor at all.

        As far as underpromise/overdeliver goes, software development is unlike any other development effort in that it is quite impossible to accurately "plan" for completion. Missing a delivery date is not due to "incompetence" but the non-sw public can't be expected to understand that.
        lmenningen
      • Rock < Microsoft > Hard Place

        [i]I understand they want to underpromise/overdeliver. And by saying early 2010, they are hardly likely to be "late." But if you are someone in a company -- or a consumer -- trying to plan when and if to buy a Vista PC or wait for Win 7, it isn't very good business practice to be unable to get a straight answer from Microsoft as to when to expect it.[/i]

        And, MS must look at it from the perspective of potential revenue loss. If they make a hard announcement of September 1st, 2009, You can probably guess what would happen to both Vista and new PC sales between now and then. Neither they, nor their PC partners are willing to do without a big chunk of revenue for 9 months.
        Timpraetor
      • MS is more of a joke every day..

        Several Linux vendors put out excellent operating systems 2X a year and they come with all kinds of software to boot!

        All of it is free of charge...
        angrykeyboarder
        • And apparentlly

          not really all that excellent.
          GuidingLight
        • And where will those vendors be ...

          ... 2 years down the line when your OS has crashed and won't restart? Who you gonna call to fix your OS then?
          de-void-21165590650301806002836337787023
  • RE: Report: PC makers to provide free Vista-to Win-7 upgrades starting July 1

    Well heres one to everyone who said MS should let those that purchased Vista upgrade to 7 for free. Not quite as wide-sweeping as I would like (baught my Vista Ultimate copy at release) so I'm still out a few bills, but none-the-less, good to see the tentative signs of a consumer-centric strategy getting stronger.

    "The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed."
    gnesterenko
    • Not that unusual

      It is not a bad thing that they are doing it, but they also don't
      want people to stop buying Vista machines this summer
      expecting that Win 7 will be released soon. A free upgrade is
      a smart way to do this. IIRC, they did the same thing when
      Vista came out. But if you bought Vista already, you get to
      pay for the upgrade. This program doesn't begin until 1 July.
      crash89
  • RE: Report: PC makers to provide free Vista-to Win-7 upgrades starting July 1

    Why should the greater public care after all the hassels of the release of Vista. MS should be offering free upgrades to more then just buyers of Vista laptops in July 1. I also want to point out that jus tbecuase MS is offering Free upgrades to users with Vista OEM after July 2009, doesn't say a lick of information about how it is being released any earlier then 2010. Why don' tyou read closer before you start opening your keyboard.


    What he was simply saying was that all customers of new cmputers (Preinstalled with Vista) will an option to upgrade for free to Windows 7 upon it's release. The notes about the time line this will remain effective are unknown but we should expect a time limit in order to take advantage of it. It's like hte free downgrade option for business laptops to XP.. Get is!!!
    Ez_Customs
  • Another stupid idea

    Well, at least they'd be charging what it's worth.

    But what kind of imbecile is going to put a new version of Windows on top of Vista? There's a disaster waiting to happen.
    rag@...
    • They do it with every new Windows release

      Vista offered the option of a clean install over the old OS. I imagine Win7 will do the same thing. If you keep your data on a separate partition then all you have to do is reinstall your programs, which for most people is only an hour's worth of work.
      Michael Kelly
    • You don't get it.

      That is how I got my XP. So the OEMs do not lose sales caused by waiting for the new OS, the old one is sold with an upgrade coupon. For the consumer it is good because you then have a disc and not just the installed copy. In my case it was ME to XP.
      sjbinaz
  • RE: Report: PC makers to provide free Vista-to Win-7 upgrades starting July 1

    I think this is a good idea. It will help drive adoption of the new OS, which will be better for Microsoft (of course) but also consumers and small businesses as well. The more people can benefit from the advances in Windows 7 the better. It also shows MS are mindful of keeping down costs for users.
    Of course, people will find a reason to slate MS for this but when looked at rationally, it's a solid move.

    http://richfrombechtle.wordpress.com
    richfrombechtle
  • Still Claiming BENDER Knows ALL, Sees ALL.

    With New Satelites & Digital Microwaves, BENDER, Futurama Robot, can See Just Exactly like X Ray Vision, Even into Females Home & thru /weBCAM, nakedness. When Mary Jo has Such Powers, I,BENDER, Will Be There, Watching. A. When It Arrives. Q.TS

    I Am Seeing Flushe of 7 units,XMAS Stuff, with Ultimate 64 machines pounded down with USB 3.0 right Behind.

    Signed:PHYSICIAN THOMAS STEWART von DRASHEK M.D.
    VONDRASHEK@...
  • Free Upgrade + Windows Fixta + No Killer App = ?

    This is probably the wrong place to make this comment, but if Jason Perlow has a point of nothing new and Mary-Jo is right about Win7 not being released before 2010 and Ed Bot is right about still no compatibility is XP drivers, then what is the point of this version as a full release?

    I'm also in the camp of having old hardware and while I've done a little programming, if one can virtualise an OS and one can virtualise an application, why can't one virtualise (HAL-ize, what ever word you want to use) XP device drivers? Vista didn't want to break backward compatibility, but if it doesn't support the hardware, what is the point?

    This links back to my comment in Ed Bots (Love XP, Hate Vista7) about the Windows Key. If it's so useful, then why not display tool tips of what the screen elements are to be able to correctly search for them.

    The bottom line is that I'll likely get Win7 when the 6+ cores come because XP can't handle that many and I'm too busy, lazy and impatient to try and learn Ubuntu... double sigh.
    Cheval
  • So all the suckers who buy Vista before July are SOL?

    The people who bought Vista Incapable and versions before SP1 and versions before July 1 are being punished. This is a good reason for not buying any product from M$ before July... This is a better reason to buy software from a reliable provider like the GNU/Linux community. They are not out to mess with your bank account.
    pogson
    • Nope, because I am sure

      That Windows 7 will be cracked by someone, and I will have NO pangs of conscience downloading it and cracking it, to be quite blunt.
      Lerianis