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Windows 7: What happens next?

Windows 7 timeline up to October 22

Microsoft confirmed this week that it will publicly launch its next OS - Windows 7 - on October 22. This will put the OS on store shelves a full three months earlier than originally planned.

However, there's plenty of activity that will take place between now and October. Here's the breakdown of some key events leading up to the Windows 7 release.

Windows 7 Upgrade Option

Microsoft is expected to unveil an upgrade programme for the Windows 7 release. The program is likely to let you get Windows 7 for free or with a discount if you've recently bought a Windows Vista-based PC that meets certain conditions.

So what are those conditions? That's not yet clear.

Microsoft has confirmed the program will be called ‘Windows Upgrade Option'. Early speculation suggests it may mirror the Vista Express Upgrade program, which provided free or discounted upgrades for users who'd bought XP-based systems in the months leading up to Vista's release.

That program didn't exactly run smoothly, though: many consumers expressed concern over hidden costs associated with the upgrade, while others complained of delays and other issues in getting their upgrade requests processed.

Microsoft is expected to release further details on how the Windows 7 upgrade program will operate in the coming weeks.

NEXT PAGE: Release-to-manufacturing phase

  1. The events taking place between now and October 22
  2. Release-to-manufacturing phase


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