When Microsoft (s MSFT) announced October 22nd as the Windows 7 launch date, people immediately wanted to know about any free upgrade plans. These usually apply to computers purchased with an older operating system not long before the new OS arrives. While it almost sounds funny to think of Vista as an “old” OS, it debuted in January of 2007. Regardless of its age, many feel that Windows 7 is “Vista done right” and they want to make sure their purchases of today run on tomorrow’s platform.
HP just announced it will be offering a free Windows 7 upgrade through the Windows Upgrade Option Program. To determine eligibility by computer model, folks can hit a dedicated web page outlining the details. HP (s HP) is hosting the information at http://www.hp.com/go/windows7upgrade, although I must be early, as the page isn’t live at the time of this writing.
If your HP purchase is eligible, the company will send you a Windows 7 upgrade disk along with utilities and a step-by-step upgrade guide. HP’s Upgrade Assistant will determine your computer’s driver compatibility and will preinstall most (if not all) of any driver upgrades. You won’t get Windows 7 early through this program, as HP won’t ship it until October 22nd at the earliest. However, you probably don’t have to worry about buying a Vista device now and then paying again for a Windows 7 license.