In a move that may help buoy sales of Windows 7 during the final quarter of its fiscal year, Microsoft said that participating retailers will offer steep discounts on Anytime Upgrades starting Sunday.
Under the terms of the deal, beginning on April 4, customers who purchase a new PC pre-installed with a version of Windows 7 can upgrade to a more high-end edition at a discount from the company's normal upgrade offer.
The discounted upgrades will be available through participating retailers, according to a post on the Windows 7 Team blog.
Anytime Upgrades is Microsoft's standard upgrade program for consumers. It lets users upgrade from one Microsoft product to another without having to pay full price. Microsoft announced a version of Anytime Upgrades for Windows 7 last summer.
There are two general offers.
For instance, if a user purchases a new PC that comes with Windows 7 Home Premium installed, normally the cost to upgrade to Windows 7 Professional would be $89.99. Under the sale terms, the upgrade will instead be $79.99, according to the post by Microsoft spokesperson Brandon LeBlanc.
He also cited the scenario of a user who, for example, purchased a netbook that came loaded with Windows 7 Starter edition. Under the standard Windows Anytime Upgrade offer, moving up to Home Premium on the netbook would cost $79.99, but under the promotional offer, the upgrade price will be $49.99.
However, LeBlanc cautioned that not all participating retailers have to offer both options.
"Some may offer Windows Anytime Upgrade for going from Windows 7 Starter to Windows 7 Home Premium, while others may offer Windows Anytime Upgrade for going from Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional, or they may offer both," LeBlanc said. The promotional offer ends July 3. Microsoft's fiscal year ends June 30.