According to sources, computer OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) will be given Windows 7 upgrade media. Of course, we still don't know when that will happen. Maybe later this year, maybe sometime in 2010. Personally, I'm betting that Microsoft ships Windows 7 as fast as humanly possible.
Once Windows 7 is out, the computer vendors can then ship it to their customers. From this, we can conclude that you will not be able to update Windows Vista to Windows 7 online. Windows 7 may be little more than a Vista uber-patch, but Microsoft plans on selling it like it was a completely new version of Windows.
It also appears that we're going to be stuck with a confussing mess of different versions of Windows. TechARP.com, the Malaysian tech news Web site that broke the story is reporting that upgrades will be available from Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Home Premium, from Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Ultimate, and from Vista Business to Windows 7 Professional. I guess switching back to just offering one, or at most, two - Home and Professional - versions of Windows makes too much sense.
This news tells me two things. One, I've been right all along about how badly customers see Vista. And two, Microsoft is desperate to win its straying customers back from Macs OS and Linux-powered netbooks.
If Microsoft is really serious about making amends to their customers though, this offer isn't enough.
No, if Microsoft really wants to make its customers happy, they should do what my friend Jason Perlow suggests, "since Windows 7 is essentially a performance and usability fix for a defective product, I'm of the increasing opinion that a Windows 7 upgrade should be free to anyone who was conned into buying Windows Vista."
You know, he has a good point. While I personally think you'd be a lot better off with buying a new Mac or moving over to Fedora, openSUSE or Ubuntu, if you still want to stick with Windows even after suffering with Vista, Microsoft should give you a copy of Windows 7 for free. After all, haven't you suffered enough?
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