There are plenty of ways to get your hands on Windows 7 starting today. You can buy a new PC that comes preloaded with the operating system, or pick up a retail or OEM copy. But there's another way that you might be able to snag a free or cheap copy: if you've purchased a computer running Windows Vista in the last few months, there's a pretty good chance it qualifies for the PC maker's Windows 7 Upgrade program. Here's how it works. If you buy a qualifying PC between June 26th, 2009 and January 31st, 2010, you can register for an upgrade to Windows 7 and your PC maker will ship an upgrade DVD to your door. Most netbooks, nettops, and other low cost PCs running Windows XP don't qualify for these upgrade programs and other restrictions may apply. Some companies may send you an upgrade disc for free of while others may charge a small fee and/or charge for shipping.
Here's a roundup of Windows 7 upgrade programs from most of the major PC manufacturers. If you purchased a computer from any of these companies on or after June 26th and haven't already registered for an upgrade you might want to visit the links below to register.
Acer Windows 7 Upgrade Offer
Asus Windows 7 Upgrade Program
Averatec Free Windows 7 Upgrade
Dell Windows 7 Upgrade Option Web Site
eMachines Windows 7 Upgrade Option
Fujitsu Windows 7 Upgrade Offer
Gateway Windows 7 Upgrade Offer
Gigabyte Windows 7 Upgrade Program
HP Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program
Lenovo Windows 7 Upgrade Program
Medion Windows 7 Upgrade Program
MSI Windows 7 Upgrade Program
Packard Bell Windows 7 Upgrade Offer
Samsung Windows 7 Upgrade Program
Sony Windows 7 Upgrade Program
Toshiba Windows 7 Upgrade Program
For the most part you should be able to upgrade to the Windows 7 equivalent of the operating system you're using. In other words, if you purchased a PC with Windows Vista Home Premium you'll probably be able to upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium for free.Know of a PC maker with an upgrade program that we missed? Let us know about it in the comments!