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HP and Lenovo offer free Windows 7 upgrades

PC owners can check eligibility online

HP and Lenovo are among the first PC manufacturers to announce they will be backing the Windows 7 upgrade scheme Microsoft launched yesterday.

Both PC manufacturers said they will offer free upgrades to Windows 7 for customers who buy PCs pre-installed with the Windows Vista OS.

Customers who buy PCs with Windows Vista will need to go to the PC makers' websites to check upgrade eligibility. Qualifying customers will receive Windows 7 upgrade disks starting October 22 , when the new OS becomes generally available.

HP customers can check their eligibility at HP's Windows 7 upgrade site. Users will receive the Windows 7 DVD and an upgrade utility disk that helps them install the new OS.

A flyer inside PC boxes will notify Lenovo customers if they are eligible for the upgrade, said Lenovo spokeswoman Kristy Fair. The flyer will direct the customer to Lenovo's Windows 7 upgrade website.

The company plans to offer upgrade options for people who buy Windows XP or Windows Vista systems, Fair said. Customers must purchase PCs between today and January 1, 2010, and will be eligible to receive upgrades through next March 31.

Dell and Acer did not immediately return calls for comments regarding their upgrade plans. Fujitsu declined to comment on the Windows 7 upgrade options it plans to offer.

Microsoft will provide free licenses for Windows 7 to PC makers through Jan. 31, the company said. Qualifying partners will provide free upgrades to new PC buyers, but Microsoft asked customers to check with PC makers regarding upgrade eligibility.


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