Microsoft has been putting together the Windows 7 Technical Guarantee Program and it appears that it’ll likely go into effect starting July 1st of this year. It’s that program that lets you purchase a machine with Microsoft’s current operating system and then upgrade it to the newest one when it launches, similar to what the company did when getting ready for Vista.
The program will apparently be optional to OEMs, so not all companies will be participating. But you can guess that a computer with a “Free upgrade to Windows 7!” sticker will probably sell over a similar machine without.
TechARP got a hold of all the technical documents but here’s a quick rundown.
- Good on new PCs with Vista pre-installed purchased after July 1, 2009.
- Versions will synch – Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Home Premium, Vista Business to Windows 7 Professional, Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Ultimate, etc.
- 32-bit to 64-bit upgrades not supported, but clean install will be allowed.
- Windows XP to Windows 7 upgrades not supported, but clean install will be allowed. Also, your OEM will have to be participating in the XP downgrade program.
The program dates could change based on when Windows 7 will actually be available but this should give everyone a pretty good idea of what’s coming.