Yes, there is still a way to get a free upgrade to Windows 7 once it becomes available in October of this year.

I always keep an eye on a Windows 7 search over at Twitter so I can stay in the loop about the most current discussions about the future Windows operating system.  This morning I have noticed a lot of folks posting about the fact that the reduced price Pre-Order special for Windows 7 (up to 58% off of Home Premium and 50% off of Professional) has come to an end.  I can understand their frustration at missing out on such a great deal.  I myself pre-ordered 3 Home Premiums and 1 Professional for our households 4 computers – at a savings of $250 or so. So yes I understand the upset that comes with missing on a deal like that.

So what is someone to do who might have missed out on such a great deal? Well, there might be two options, legal ones anyway, to get reduced pricing for upgrades to Windows 7 and one almost free option.  One is the current offering to get a free upgrade to Windows 7 if you purchase Windows Vista on a new computer or the second is when purchasing a retail boxed version of Windows Vista.

Both of these offers are explained in length at Microsoft’s Windows 7 Upgrade Option page. The essential details in small print of the bottom of that page read:

* Essential details: When you buy Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, or Ultimate either as a packaged product or on a qualifying PC you can get a comparable upgrade version of Windows 7 after it’s generally available on October 22, 2009. Qualifying PCs, offer details, and product delivery methods will vary by manufacturer, so check their sites for specifics. If you buy a packaged copy of Windows Vista you can order your upgrade from Microsoft. The Windows 7 Upgrade Option program runs from June 26, 2009 through January 31, 2010. However, individual PC manufacturers may choose to offer the option for a shorter period. For full details, see the FAQ.

Oh yea, there is a shipping and handling charge to receive the Windows 7 media from Microsoft if you upgrade a retail packaged product. It is $9.99 and you can expect it to take 6-8 weeks following retail availability which is 22 October 2009.

The third possible option is not reality yet but the subject of much discussion across the web and that is the possibility of a Family Pack for Windows 7 Home Premium.  Currently that purchase option is being speculated about because of some wording in the Microsoft Software License Terms in a later build of Windows 7 past the public Release Candidate.  Discovered by my good friend, Kristan Kenney, his blog post, Windows 7 Home Premium to include family pack licensing reveals info about being a qualified family pack user as being a valid licensed user of the software.

About a week later stories hit the web about online retailers revealing the price of a Microsoft Windows 7 Family Pack Upgrade on Home Premium.  Here is a screenshot of that websites advertised price:


I am not sure what the Discontinued wording means unless it is a place holder as they get the site ready for retail sales.  This shot is current as of the posting of this entry so it is not like it has been removed or changed.  In fact they are offering a nice discount themselves on the package itself from the retail price.

If this family licensing comes to fruition that will be superb – that pricing is in fact in line with what Microsoft offered everyone under the Pre-Order program that just closed up in the US.  So as long as the program comes to reality – everyone will get the pre-order pricing. To me that is a win-win across the board.