January 23, 2009, 11:26 AM — Rumors are floating around that Microsoft is planning to offer a Windows 7 upgrade to Vista owners, for free. The Malaysian web site TechArp just reported that Microsoft has a draft of their Windows 7 Technical Guarantee Program, which includes details on what they're calling the "Windows 7 Upgrade Program."
Details are sketchy as of this point, but strategically, it is designed to mitigate the number of users who are putting off buying a new computer, because they would rather go directly to Windows 7 from XP, rather than deal with Vista.
According to the site, the program is targeted at consumers and small business users that bought new PCs that were pre-installed with Vista during a predetermined period of eligibility. Vista Home Basic isn't included in the program however; only Vista Home Premium, Vista Business, and Vista Ultimate. larger enterprises with multiple upgrade requirements aren't eligible.
The upgrade plan is nothing more than a rumor at this point, although TechArp does claim to have seen a copy of a letter Microsoft sent out to its OEM partners. TechArp does have a good reputation on getting the scoop on Microsoft strategies.