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The Microsoft Windows 7 Free Upgrade Option Program Rev. 4.1
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The Microsoft Windows 7 Upgrade Program

Microsoft issued a draft of the Windows 7 Technical Guarantee Program to their OEM partners on December 10, giving them exactly one month to provide their feedback before Microsoft finalizes the program details. We managed to obtain a copy of the draft, which tentatively refers to the program as the "Windows 7 Upgrade Program". Let's take a look at the key points outlined in the draft.

     Update @ March 25 : We added a new Marketing Materials section, and updated the Important Program Dates section with a new start date for the program as well as the Editor's Note for the Eligible Upgrade Paths and Possible Upgrade Options sections to clarify the issue of upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7.

     Update @ April 4 : We added two new pages of Q&As on the Windows 7 Upgrade Option program, as well as two new screenshots of the upgrade process. We also added a new Official Name section and a new Storage Requirements section.

     Update @ May 15 : We added a new page of Q&As on the Windows 7 Upgrade Option program.

     Update @ June 3 : Microsoft finally made a public announcement on June 2 confirming that the Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program will be offered. Of course, we already knew this as far back as November 9, 2008! Back then, it was known as the Tech Guarantee Program. Their OEM partners may publicly acknowledge their participation in the program, but they are still not allowed to market the program or otherwise publicly disclose the program details until June 26, 2009, a date which we announced back in March 19, 2009. Microsoft also revealed the Initial Upgrade Media Fulfillment Date, which we updated in the Important Program Dates section.

     Update @ June 22 : We added two new pages on the impact of the new E & N versions of Windows 7 on the Windows 7 Upgrade Option program, detailing the Eligible Upgrade Paths in Europe, inclusion of a web browser and the Clean Installation Requirement for the upgrade.

     Latest Update @ June 26 : We added a new Marketing Guidance section, which details Microsoft's marketing plans for the Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program. We also updated the Important Program Dates with a reminder on the launch of the Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program.


Official Name

The official name for the program has been revealed. Microsoft will now refer to the Windows Vista to Windows 7 upgrade program as the Windows 7 Upgrade Option program. It was previously known as the Windows 7 Technical Guarantee Program before morphing into the Windows 7 Upgrade Program and now, the official name of Windows 7 Upgrade Option.


Overview Of The Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program

The Windows 7 Upgrade Program is designed 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.

This is a consumer-oriented program targeted at individual consumers and small businesses that have purchased eligible PCs during the Program Eligibility Period. End users will have to meet these requirements to be deemed eligible for the upgrade to Windows 7 when it is released :

  • 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 :
    1. Windows Vista® Home Premium
    2. Windows Vista® Business
    3. 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 for more details.
  • The following are the only valid upgrade paths under the program :
    1. Windows Vista® Home Premium -> Windows® 7 Home Premium
    2. Windows Vista® Business -> Windows® 7 Professional
    3. Windows Vista® Ultimate -> Windows® 7 Ultimate

Do note that this is an optional program, so not all OEMs may choose to participate. OEMs that choose to participate in this upgrade program will have the freedom to determine how to best provide qualifying end users with the details.


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Official Name
Overview Of The Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program


Important Program Dates
Marketing Guidance
Marketing Materials


Eligible Upgrade Paths


Possible Upgrade Options


Validation Of Program Compliance
Fulfillment Limitations
Installation Notices


Windows 7 Upgrade Option Screenshots


Windows 7 Upgrade Option Screenshots (Continued)


Windows 7 Upgrade Option Requirements
Storage Requirements


Windows 7 Upgrade Option Q&A Part 1


Windows 7 Upgrade Option Q&A Part 2


Windows 7 Upgrade Option Q&A Part 3


Impact Of E & N Versions Of Windows 7
Eligible Upgrade Paths In Europe
Inclusion Of A Web Browser


Clean Installation Requirement For E & N Versions


Media Delivery
Product Activation
Upgrade Media Bill Of Materials

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