Microsoft is set to release Windows 7 on October 22, 2009. They will also be offering discounted or free upgrades to those who bought PCs in the months leading up to the big launch through a program called “Windows Upgrade Option.” Many official details on the upgrade option have not been released including start and end dates, what versions of Vista are eligible for upgrade, or even what sort of deal PC users can expect. Company spokesman, Brandon LeBlanc, says more information will be disclosed closer to the time of the program’s kick-off.
The upgrade offer comes as no surprise, information about the program was leaked as early as January 2009 by TechARP.com. According to TechARP, any PC licensed with Vista Home Premium, Vista Business, and Vista Ultimate that is purchased between June 26, 2009 and January 31, 2010 will be eligible for a free upgrade. Vista Home Basic – the cheapest edition of Vista – will not be available because the similar version of Windows 7 will be sold in only a few select markets. Reasoning behind this idea could stem from a law-suit that accuses Microsoft of misleading consumers by marketing PCs as Vista-friendly when they were only able to use the Home Basic edition. The case is currently being appealed to a federal judge.
As for Windows 7, development is set to finish in July and will then be released to manufacturers for the October release date. It will be loaded on new PCs and available on store shelves. Microsoft originally planned to release the operating system in January 2010 but last month, they confirmed it would be ready in time for the holiday shopping season. If you do not want to wait on the real thing, a copy of the Windows 7 Release Candidate is available for download through many tech websites and is thought to be just like the final version of the real thing.