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The Microsoft Windows 7 Free Upgrade Option Program Rev. 4.1
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Updated! Important Program Dates

Update @ June 26 : Today's the day! Microsoft and their OEM partners will announce the Windows 7 Upgrade Option program today! If you waited on your new system purchase because of what we covered in this program, then today is the day you get to praise yourself for your wisdom and patience. Enjoy your free upgrade to Windows 7!

Important Program Dates for the Windows 7 Upgrade Program are listed in the table below. Although the program was originally slated to begin on July 1, Microsoft adjusted the date to June 26, 2009 on March 19. This slight adjustment was done at the request of many OEMs to allow for better sales over the first weekend of the Program.

Program Eligibility Period
- Windows Vista PCs preinstalled with qualifying software must be purchased by end users between these dates.
- OEMs may choose to offer a shorter program period within the allowed date range.

June 26, 2009 through January 31, 2010 *
* Open to change, and depends on the actual release to market date of Windows 7

Program Calculation Period
- The total number of eligible Windows Vista Certificates of Authenticity (COAs) invoiced to an OEM during the Program Calculation Period, multiplied by 20%, determines the number of program upgrade media that can be purchased by OEM through Microsoft ARs.
- End of Program Calculation Period will be 90 days prior to the end of Program Eligibility Period.

April 1, 2009 through October 31, 2009

Initial Upgrade Media Fulfillment Date
Date on which OEMs may start shipping upgrade media to Qualifying End Users.

October 22, 2009
(Windows 7 General Availability)

Final Software Fulfillment Date / Program End Date
- Date by which upgrade media must be shipped for Qualifying End Users’ upgrade orders.
- Microsoft recommends that OEMs establish and communicate to their customers a final submission date to ensure fulfillment by the Program End Date.

April 30, 2010

For other important dates and details, take a look at the latest Microsoft Windows 7 roadmap.


New! Marketing Guidance

For those who still wonder about the truth of such a program, perhaps this marketing communication by Microsoft will dispel all doubts :

Goal : Maintain sales of Windows Vista PCs before Windows 7 GA (General Availability) and drive strong Windows 7 sales.

Strategy : Market Windows 7 when product is available for purchase

June 18 - June 26, 2009 : No proactive Windows 7 end user marketing or use of Microsoft-provided Windows 7 visual assets.

June 26 - October 21, 2009 : Continue to offer Windows Vista and use only the Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program marketing elements provided by Microsoft. OEMs are to actively promote the Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program to end users who are in the purchase consideration phase. They are also to promote quantity-limited and time-limited Windows 7 Full Package Product (FPP) pre-order offer using Microsoft-provided Windows 7 visual assets.

October 22, 2009 onwards : Actively promote Windows 7 to end users using Microsoft-provided visual assets and messaging.

OEMs may not distribute systems licensed with any Windows 7 products until October 22, 2009. They also may not take pre-orders or make pre-sales of Windows 7 systems prior to 3 days before the Windows 7 GA (General Availability) date, which is again on October 22, 2009.


Marketing Materials

This is of no importance to most users, but it gives us an interesting look at how Microsoft plans for the marketing of the Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program.


Planned Availability

OEM partner marketing guidelines

Week of March 23, 2009

Lock up

Week of March 23, 2009

Label template for fulfillment media

Week of March 23, 2009

Offer headline and copy blocks

Week of March 23, 2009

Element items :
• Monitor blade
• Screen cling
• Tent cad
• Poster
• Online banner
• Advertising template
• To customer webpage template

Week of March 23, 2009

Partner presentation

Week of March 23, 2009

SKU chart chooser

April 2009


April 2009

"7 cool things about 7" booklet

To be determined


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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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