Just recently purchased a Windows Vista-based desktop, nettop, notebook, laptop or netbook computer, or just purchased a Windows Vista license with product key in a box package or digital download? Thanks to Windows 7 Upgrade Option from Microsoft, many of these Windows Vista licenses can be upgraded to Windows 7, for free.

Free Windows 7 upgrade is eligible for Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Ultimate editions that are being bought between June 26, 2009 and January 31, 2010. The free upgrade is applicable for Windows Vista OEM license which installed on a new PC, or just individual retail boxed package of Windows Vista license.

Customer will receive the comparable upgrade version of Windows 7 for the edition of Windows Vista bought. For example, Windows Vista Home Premium will upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows Vista Business will upgrade to Windows 7 Professional and Windows Vista Ultimate will upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate.

Unfortunately, Windows XP operating system does not eligible for free Windows 7 Upgrade program. So for many new netbook and nettop owners that have WinXP license, it’s only possible to legitimately upgrade to Windows 7 after buying at least a Windows 7 upgrade license.

For customers who bought a boxed or packaged copy of Windows Vista without a PC only, upgrade to Windows 7 cannot be easier. Windows 7 upgrade can be redeemed and ordered directly from Microsoft at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/buy/offers/upgrade-option.aspx (visit http://www.windows.com/upgradeoffer for non-US countries). Proofs of purchase such as Windows Vista product key are required.

For customers who purchased PC pre-loaded with Windows Vista, the free Windows 7 upgrade will be handled by PC manufacturer or vendor. So customers have to order and claim the free upgrade through website or form provided by OEMs. The upgrade fulfillment method may vary by PC manufacturer. Note that only qualifying PC, which normally includes a form with redemption details in the packaging that came with the PC, will eligible for free Windows 7 upgrade.

Note that not all OEMs participate in the free Windows 7 Upgrade Option programs. There are costs associated with implementing the offers so they may opt out of the program for certain models, particular timeframes, or in specific markets. Besides, some manufacturers such as Andere merken, Amtek, Everex, Hannspree, Lemel, Shuttle, Viewsonic, NEC, TwinheadDSGi and Autres marques have their Windows 7 free upgrade offer fulfillment handled by Microsoft at link above. Here’s list of all manufacturers’ Windows 7 free upgrade fulfillment websites:

Windows 7 Upgrade Kit is free, but there may be shipping and handling been charged, and the amount varies between different manufacturers.

Regardless of SKU of Windows Vista (e.g. upgrade, full packaged product, or anytime upgrade), eligible customers will receive corresponding edition of Windows 7 Full (FPP) or Upgrade (depending on location) product license.