Windows 7 Upgrade Program : It's Not Too Late To Upgrade From Vista/XP

Microsoft ran a Windows 7 Upgrade Program, a scheme which essentially allowed users who purchased an eligible PC or laptop, to upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7 for free with, in many cases, a minimal shipping fee attached.

The program ran from 26th June 2009 to the 31st of January 2010 and eligible OSes included Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Ultimate but not Windows Vista Home Basic.

Microsoft did attach a number of restrictions to each upgrade. For example, you'd only be able to upgrade from say, Windows Vista Home Premium to the equivalent Windows 7 OS. You wouldn't be able to upgrade or downgrade.

Furthermore, you can only upgrade a 32-bit Vista to a 32-bit Windows 7 under the scheme and the same applies to the language version of the qualifying Windows Vista product.

In all cases, you will possibly have to deal directly with the vendors rather than going through the retailers (like Dabs or Ebuyer). The orders are being fulfilled by Mentor Media, Microsoft's authorised replicator in charge of sending the Windows 7 upgrades in Singapore.

However we did experience significant issues with Acer (which charges only £12.80), Lenovo and Samsung. It might be simply that the offer has ended, but it would have been so much nicer to have a proper landing page.

We've researched a list of ten major computer resellers. Some of them, like Dell and Sony, have already closed their upgrade sites altogether saying that the registration and order period has ended.

Others, like HP, might have stopped selling eligible kit but are still taking orders for Windows 7 Upgrade Kit for eligible systems until the 15th of February with the last day to submit proof of purchase for such systems set to the 1st of March 2010. HP will charge a whopping £22 which it says will "cover shipping, handling and other fees."

Note also that up to 25 Windows 7 upgrade kits may be ordered for eligible systems, for bigger orders, system administrators will have to visit the Microsoft Volume Licensing Program website.

Likewise, Asus will be accepting online orders for the much-sought after Windows 7 Upgrade kit until the 15th of February but warns that in some cases, there might be up to 4 weeks worth of lead-time for orders to be fulfilled and that shipping and handling fees may apply. Asus also used the Mediacorp website.

Fujitsu is the most flexible of the lot with last day for orders being pushed until the end of February 2010 and charges a jaw dropping 36 Euros (roughly £33) for shipping and packaging, 50 percent more than what HP is asking for.

Only Toshiba however has extended the purchase date of Windows Vista equipped laptops (there's no PC) to the end of February. In addition, even if you downgraded your Windows Vista originally to Windows XP Professional, you would still be able to upgrade if the original Windows Vista version qualifies for the upgrade.

MSI chose to link to the official Windows 7 Upgrade Option page directly, instead of Mentor Media. The site, from which users of any brands with eligible products can order, highlights the fact that the final software fulfillment date is the 30th of April 2010.

There are obviously other manufacturers like Medion, Advent, Gateway or Packard Bell, whcih haven't been covered in this featured article. You might want to check directly with the vendor to see if they offer the Windows 7 Upgrade Option.