Last week we learned about Best Buy’s Windows 7 deployment plans, and this week, PCWorld has uncovered a source willing to spill the beans on the OEM strategies and dates. Similar to what we saw with Windows Vista, OEM’s are going to start offering upgrade coupons to individuals or businesses who buy new PC’s on, or after June 26th 2009. As expected, only Windows Vista Home Premium and above will be eligible for the offer, but unlike the Vista upgrade program, OEM’s may be on the hook for a portion of the upgrade fees. PC vendors will be forced to pay somewhere between $9 and $15 per license for the upgrade voucher, but this will allow customers to download a copy on the launch date, and still receive a disk as they become availible.
The coupons are rumored to be valid until Jan 31st 2010, and the OEM’s hope it will be enough to prevent Windows 7 from stalling new PC purchases between now, and the October 22nd launch date. PCWorld wouldn’t reveal the name of the Taiwanese executive who leaked the information, but apparently this was done to protect his companies negotiating creditability with Microsoft. So far, HP & Dell have only confirmed that they will participate in the in the Upgrade Program (whatever that may be), but have refused to release any of the details until Microsoft formally confirms the program dates and details.
Either way, it appears as though you should probably continue holding off on that new PC until at least June 26th.