According to a draft of the Windows 7 Technical Guarantee Program obtained by TechARP, Microsoft looks set to offer free Windows 7 upgrades to certain Windows Vista users in order to ease strain on the industry.
The program, which reportedly has several names - a final name for the scheme hasn't been decided at this point - is designed to minimise the number of users waiting to purchase a new computer until after Windows 7 is released.
Users running Home Premium, Business and Ultimate versions of Windows Vista will be eligible for the program and will qualify for a free upgrade to Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate versions of Windows 7 respectively. Home Basic, Starter and Windows XP users will not qualify.
The draft of the Technical Guarantee Program reportedly says that it's optional, so it could be that some OEMs choose not to participate. The eligibility period for the program will start on 1st July this year and will run until general availability for the new operating system, meaning OEMs who opted in should start selling eligible machines from that date.
It's not clear when retailers will start selling copies of Windows Vista that are eligible for the upgrade program, but it's likely to follow the same schedule as the one outlined for OEMs in particular.
There's a full breakdown of the draft of the Windows 7 Technical Guarantee Program, including screenshots of the upgrade process, on TechARP
Do you think this is a good move for Microsoft, OEMs and consumers? Discuss in the forums