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The Microsoft Windows 7 Upgrade Program
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.
The official name for the program has yet to be determined. Microsoft is using "Windows 7 Upgrade Program" as the place-holder for the Windows Vista to Windows 7 upgrade program, which was also known as the Windows 7 Technical Guarantee Program. Microsoft will announce the final program name at a later date.
Overview Of The Windows 7 Upgrade 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 :
Validation Of Program Compliance
This section is really only important for OEMs but it is still an interesting read. The kicker is the "fine" that the OEM has to pay if they infringe the terms of the program.
Microsoft expects most users to submit single upgrade requests, but allow qualifying end users (consumers or small businesses) to upgrade multiple eligible systems. In this draft though, they have tentatively set a maximum limit of 25 upgrades for each qualifying end user's mailing address.
The upgrade media will come with the following notices :
“Installation for some of the Windows 7 products may require you to re-format your hard drive. Also, certain upgrades may not allow the end user to retain applications, files and settings as they were in the previous installed edition of Windows. Therefore, you should back up your files and settings prior to the installation or they may be erased. Microsoft is not liable for any loss of data as a result of this installation.
“If you upgrade and want to return (if permitted by your license terms) to the Windows Vista product previously running, you will need to un-install the Windows 7 product and re-install the Windows Vista product using a recovery solution for the Windows Vista product. Contact your PC Manufacturer as required for Windows Vista recovery media for your PC if you wish to un-install the Windows 7 product after upgrade."
“Windows Product Activation of Windows 7 Upgrade software is required. The Product Key number found on the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) supplied with the upgrade software is required to activate the Windows 7 software. Please keep the COA and related Product Key for use during Windows 7 Product Activation.”
Windows 7 Upgrade Hardware Requirements
Microsoft expects the PC hardware requirements and recommendations for systems upgraded to Windows 7 under the program to remain the same as those published for systems preinstalled with Windows Vista products. Microsoft will provide the final Windows 7 hardware requirements at a later date. Of course, the PCs must have a DVD drive to allow the installation of the Windows upgrade media.
Incidentally, Microsoft claims that PCs that meet the hardware requirements for Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Business, or Windows Vista Ultimate should experience similar or possibly better performance running the “like” version of Windows 7.
Microsoft will not allow the OEMs to deliver Windows 7 upgrade media to end users under the date of Windows 7 General Availability. In practice, expect to receive the media some time after Windows 7 is launched.
Qualifying end users receiving the upgrade media will need to activatetheir Windows 7 operating system after installationusing the Product Activation Key supplied with the upgrade media's Certificate of Authenticity (COA). Therefore, end users who receive the upgrade media should retain the upgrade media's COA and associated Product Activation Key for future use.
Upgrade Media Bill Of Materials
Microsoft will be recommending that the following items be shipped to every qualifying end user :
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