According to Tech ARP, Microsoft has been drafting a plan that will allow some Windows Vista users to upgrade to the next version of Windows, Windows 7, for free.
This upgrade plan, which is temporarily named “The Windows 7 Upgrade Program,” is being developed in order to “assist Microsoft’s OEM partners in minimizing the number of end users who may postpone acquiring a new computer because of the impending release of the Windows 7 operating system. This program allows OEMs to offer an upgrade to Windows 7 to end users who qualify.”
While plans and drafts have been developing since December 10, 2008, there is still no official word on the exact eligibility rules. However, according to a draft, eligibility will apply as follows and a requirement must be met before you are eligible.
End users must purchase a new PC that is pre-installed with an eligible Windows Vista Operating System (OS), during the program eligibility window.
The PC must have a valid Certificate of Authenticity (COA) attached.
The only Windows Vista® versions eligible for the program are :
- Windows Vista® Home Premium
- Windows Vista® Business
- Windows Vista® Ultimate
* Microsoft Windows Vista® Home Basic, Windows Vista® Starter Edition, and Windows® XP (all editions) are not qualifying products under the program.
The Program does not support multiple upgrades for medium, large, or enterprise customers. Customers that want to upgrade multiple PCs should use the appropriate Microsoft Volume Licensing program. See www.microsoft.com/licensing for more details.
The following are the only valid upgrade paths under the program :
- Windows Vista® Home Premium -> Windows® 7 Home Premium
- Windows Vista® Business -> Windows® 7 Professional
- Windows Vista® Ultimate -> Windows® 7 Ultimate
For those of us who forked out the cash to buy Windows Vista Ultimate, it looks like we are getting the shaft end of the deal to the extreme. If the program is revised and Vista Ultimate users are allowed an upgrade then I will continue to support Microsoft with future releases. However, if I am forced to purchase Windows 7 after having purchased Vista Ultimate with absolutely no benefits then I plan to simply boycott Microsoft. (Period).