The offer applies to consumers and to companies that plan to buy fewer than 25 PCs. Larger organizations are being advised to take advantage of Microsoft's volume-licensing program for their upgrades.
Lenovo customers who buy a Vista Home Premium PC will be entitled to Windows 7 Home Premium. A Vista Business PC can be upgraded to Windows 7 Professional and a Vista Ultimate PC to Windows 7 Ultimate.
HP announced a similar upgrade offer on Thursday. Other major computer makers will likely launch similar offers. In offering the free upgrades, computer makers are working with Microsoft, which launched an upgrade option program for Vista buyers on Friday.
HP and Lenovo and are trying to convince people there's no reason to delay buying a PC until Microsoft releases the new operating system Oct. 22. Windows 7 is getting great reviews — much better than the negative reception Vista received. With the PC market in the doldrums as a result of the economic recession, computer makers don't want to give potential customers any reason to delay purchases.
Microsoft released pricing Thursday for Windows 7. People with older Vista or XP systems who want to upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium and Professional editions will have to pay $119 and $199, respectively.
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