Buy a PC Now, Upgrade to Windows Vista After Launch

Today we’re announcing something you’ve all been waiting for — information on the upgrade process for those of you who are planning to buy a new PC in the coming months but prior to the Windows Vista launch.  Well, now you can have both (and Office to boot)!

Here’s the scoop:

PCs loaded with Windows XP or pre-installed with 2003 Microsoft Office software can be upgraded via the Express Upgrade to Windows Vista and Microsoft Office Technology Guarantee program.  Express Upgrade will be available to consumers and small businesses from 26 Oct 2006 through 15 March 2007.

Check out the Express Upgrade site for details.

Windows Vista 

Windows Vista upgrades may be offered for free or at a discounted price (shipping and handling charges may also apply), so it pays to check with the particular PC manufacturer for details specific to their offer.

Consider looking for “Windows Vista Capable” PCs designated as “Premium Ready,” as these PCs are designed to deliver the core Windows Vista experience.  PCs carrying only the “Windows Vista Capable” logo may be eligible for the program, but the offer may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.  Go here for more information about Windows Vista Capable and Premium Ready PCs. 

If you purchase a PC running Windows XP this holday, you should remember to take into account the upgrade path of the SKU you purchase.  In the US, the upgrade path looks like this (but will vary by region):

Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 –> Windows Vista Home Premium (nominal fee)

Windows XP Professional –> Windows Vista Business (nominal fee)

Windows XP Tablet PC Edition –> Windows Vista Business (nominal fee)

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition –> Windows Vista Business 64 (nominal fee)

Meanwhile, upgrades of this type:

Windows XP Home Edition –> Windows Vista Home Basic

Windows XP Home Edition –> Windows Vista Home Premium

… are both available at 50% discount from the boxed product upgrade price, plus shipping and handling.


You can upgrade to the comparable edition of 2007 Microsoft Office when you purchase a PC pre-installed with qualifying Microsoft Office 2003 software.  More details are at the Express Upgrade site.

Boxed Product (FPP)

Similar programs are available region-by-region for upgrading both Microsoft Office 2003 and Windows XP FPP to Windows Vista and 2007 Microsoft Office; your local retailer will have the particulars.

So with this program, you can buy a PC with Windows XP now and upgrade it to Windows Vista once we’ve launched commercially.  How’s that for making your purchasing decision a little easier?

Comments (19)

  1. Anonymous says:

    On the Microsoft Windows Vista team website Microsoft announced the strategy to supply consumers with

  2. Anonymous says:

    Today was the best indicator yet that Vista is nearing RTM. Microsoft RTWed several Vista technologies

  3. Anonymous says:

    If you’re in the market for a new computer this holiday season, be sure to ask your retailer about the…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hey dont you answer questions anymore? I asked:

    "suppose you get the upgrade, is is that you can install Vista only over an XP install or does it mean that your XP license is no longer valid in exchange for the Vista one but you can do a clean install?"

  5. Anonymous says:

    I wasn’t expecting an upgrade program for Office 2003 aswell.  Good move 🙂

  6. Anonymous says:

    Smoke and mirrors seems to be the MSFT mantra these days Nick.  

    A lack of sincerity and committment on

    1) SPP and WGA drawing federal suits against MSFT like flies because they are incompetent at telling legit from pirates

    2) Your continued partnership with OEMs to refuse to provide competent recovery media –ie the OS on media for your customers

    3) A EULA that is an enigma enshoruded in mystery that has scroes of people confused on Vista groups–how about clarifying it since you were gong to take up the questions of Robert McLaws’ blogs readers?

    All of this is damaging your customers to protect MSFT’s revenue stream.


  7. Anonymous says:

    But the License to transfer to 1 pc is not Right Idea for Microsoft. They might loose customers that way. At least put a different idea. If Microsoft is after Piracy. Just a Suggestion.

    Someone Posted at another site:

    I don’t mind Microsoft protecting its products from piracy, but I have to draw the line at the point it creates major headaches and inconvenience to legitimate customers. For PC enthusiasts like myself who do frequent overhauls of their systems, limiting installs to two is a serious problem. That kind of licensing would be considered completely unacceptable with any other software product, and I don’t know why Microsoft thinks it’s OK for Windows.

    If they proceed with this licensing, I would expect it to backfire and result in more piracy, not less, as enthusiasts seek ways to circumvent it with hacked copies. Nobody pirates a legitimate copy of Windows anyway, so why punish the people who are actually paying for it? This would certainly put a damper on any enthusiasm I have for Vista. I’m willing to pay for it, but I’m not willing to pay for it more than once.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Nice move but not exactly ‘Buy a PC Now’…. I just ordered a new xp-pro 64 machine yesterday from Dell. Looks like it shipped today or will tomorrow. So ‘Now’ doesn’t include me.

    Most marketing promotions like this go back on the calendar to alleviate issues like this. Announcing a promotion like this with a future date leaves those of us that fall in the middle with a bad taste in our mouths. The funny part is that I likely won’t have my machine in hand until after the 26th. Had I known, I would have waited two days.


  9. Anonymous says:


    I’d say doing those things instead of letting the confusion multiply would be appropriate Product Managing for a product manager on the Vista Launch team and no time like the present as multiple synchophants fan out to talk about Vista Office upgrades and discounts and carefully avoid the dirty little secret that MSFT wants to keep OEMs from providing OS discs for XP or DVDs for Vista.

    1) Can you clarify the exponentially metastasizing confusion on the Vista newsgroups as to the Vista Eula.  Robert McLaws said you were planning to do that.  MSFT Redmond isn’t spinning you too are they the way they seem to have been spinning Paul Thurtott?

    Pretty nifty Nick–you give those guys access, load them up with gym bags full of swag and toys and then tell them to say whatever you all want.

    Why all the sneaking around and suberfuge?  When you’re going to screw people just tell them to line up and enjoy it–it’s a screwing from Redmond Arrogantsoft.

    How about a straight up Nick White article 1/2/3 etc. with some precision and clarity conferred on that Raiders of the Lost Ark engima enshrouded in mystery EULA your lawyers and everyone with the least software engineering ability at Redmond used to craft the thing.

    Please read and enjoy Ed Bott’s blogs on your EULA or on How MSFT Damages the Customer and his Legit Vista to Protect their Revenue Stream:

    A sneaky change in Windows licensing terms

    Get facts, not spin, about Vista’s new license

    October 19, 2006

    "Forbidding Vistas: Windows licensing disserves the user "

    Ed Bott at

    UAC Good; SPP Not So Good

    2) Any comments on the law suits that are starting to slide into federal district court against WGA and SPP because your coders can’t write it to distinguish accurately between pirated copies and genuine?

    Also when the author of one of the most definitive books on Vista that has sold nearly a million copies calls you all to try to work to clarify what you all won’t or can’t or are afraid to why not give him someone with quality that knows what they’re talking about rather than your Wagner Edstrom PR flacks who don’t or some bottom feeder who knows nothing more than "Yippie Kah Yah WGA"?


  10. Anonymous says:

    This gets into a very taboo subject for a MSFTie doesn’t it Nick?

    3) I saw something encouraging on a Dell blog that I have  seen MSFT always afraid to talk about and even lash out vindictively when it is discussed and I can prove this.

    MSFT tries to coerce their 300 OEM named partners into agreements that ensure that millions of your customers who do not enjoy the ammenities of the backups and custom installs of an enterprise IT machine with 6 figured CTOs who also have managed to screw up enough on ocassion to allow the 2nd biggest railroad in your country the US to go down over Blaster merely because they didn’t get around to updating with hotfixes–a bozo move the elementary school kids on my street are smart enough to avoid.

    Here’s a topic I’d like some Nick White clarificaiton on:  There are about 300 Named OEM partners.  These are presided over by one Scott Di Valerio (accountant not trained in software but apparently trained in squeezing money out of millions of people for OEM machines with pre-loaded windows and no effective way to recover and decoy crap discs and partitions that don’t work if you have had extensive experience comparing them to real OS’s and I have).

    For the past 7 years millions of your customers were left up a bad creek. Not backed up the way you do it, they couldn’t boot to Windows  for software glitch reasons, and when F8 options were fully exploited they had no Windows XP and won’t have Vista media to access what would have fixed them (Rapair Install or Win RE’s Startup Repair).

    When asked yesterday at Round Rock, your platinum partner Mr. Dell’s company claimed that you insisted for years they not supply your customers with a legitimate way to recover that had any chance of efficacy so the joke recovery cds and partitions go out from your OEM named partners after your customers pay their hard earned money for what you’re peddling in this thread–pre-installed Windows OEM.

    Let me say that again Nick.

    *Pre-installed.*  No MSFT media IE no OS copy of Win XP or Vista and the way things are going Blackcomb/Vienna/Figi either.

    As you know well, your last financial report showed a drop in 20% of retail sales and an increase of 20% in OEM preinstalled OS sales as a chief source of MSFT income.

    I want to show you something that recently appeared on the Dell blog that I’m  trying to confirm counter to the culture of "leave our customers without a way to recover Windows" that MSFT has nurutred for years.

    How many of your OEM partners are doing what Dell says they are going to start doing–i.e. shipping a real OS on media instead of that junk that doesn’t work nearly 100% of the time you all force them into using?

    Update: Thanks to Direct2Dell reader Steven and a couple of Dell employees for pointing out a mistake I made in my original post. When I wrote this, the OS media was listed as an option in the configurator for $0. I mis-read the number, and for that mistake, I apologize.  Also, though this been in the works for some time before now, it’s now official.  For U.S. consumer and small business customers, all systems will now ship with an operating system disc. This change will take effect in Europe by later next month. In Asia, things are unchanged—we’ve always shipped OS discs with systems there.

    When is MSFT going to put its concern where it’s Wagner Edstrom spinning mouth is and provide a legitimate way with efficacy for your customers to recovery the OS?

    BTW do any of you are your Windoz maven collegues want to take my challenge Nick?  How about the gang at File Core Services,  Jill, Dan, and set up, Darell Vinny and the rest–and you.

    We break Windows and make BSOD stops–you all try recovery with OEM recovery discs or partitions and I’ll use an XP CD or Vista DVD–one with all the OS code on it even though many of us are learning startup repair is a work in progress that won’t be made at Redmond Washington any time soon.

    Tell me when you’re ready.  We can radio 9 tape it and send the pod cast to Scoble’s new podcast company at


  11. Anonymous says:

    I have Windows XP Professional, this means I can’t  buy a Windows Vista Home Premium upgrade?  I HAVE to use Windows Vista Business in order to but just the upgrade?

  12. Anonymous says:

    I have Windows XP Professional, this means I can’t  buy a Windows Vista Home Premium upgrade?  I HAVE to use Windows Vista Business in order to buy just the upgrade?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Now suppose you get the upgrade, is is that you can install Vista only over an XP install or does it mean that your XP license is no longer valid in exchange for the Vista one but you can do a clean install?

  14. Anonymous says:

    I just re-read the post.  This is just for people who bought XP between those dates.

  15. Anonymous says:


    I believe you need an OS DVD to take advantage of Vista’s "Windows Anytime Upgrade" so that you can install the "premium" features, so it was probably going to happen anyways.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, this is all swell and good, unless you are in the market for a Media Center PC.    Microsoft has officially stated that you will NOT be able to add a CableCARD tuner to an existing PC, so if you buy a computer with Windows Media Center Edition now and want to add CableCARD functionality to it, you’re gonna find yourself up selling it on eBay and purchasing a new computer with the tuner preinstalled.

    Makes you wanna just run out and buy one right now, right?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Any more info on the Microsoft Office 2007 Technology Guarantee program, the Express Upgrade site seems to have more info about Vista than Office.

    Specifically which preinstalled versions of Office 2003 qualify for the upgrade program.  Student and Teacher, Professional, Small Bussiness Edition?  Does it vary by vendor?

    Thanks for the information 🙂

  18. Business Phone says:

    wow great thanx for upgradation i impressed by upgradation


    <a href="">Business Phone</a>