Dell and the Windows 7 Upgrade Program


For those that have been keeping up with Microsoft's Windows 7 development effort, Brandon over at Microsoft made it official today—the Windows 7 upgrade program will be here tomorrow on June 26. That's when we will begin Dell's Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program in multiple regions.  Our upgrade program includes more than 55 countries and over 20 languages.

Here's what this means:

  • Customers purchasing specific Dell consumer and business PCs with qualifying Windows Vista versions (Vista Home Premium, Vista Business and Vista Ultimate) will be able to register to receive a free upgrade kit for Windows 7.
  • This offer applies to customers who purchase their systems either on or through their favorite retailer or reseller. Shipping and handling fees may apply depending on retailer or reseller. Program terms vary by country.
  • Dell will ship the Windows 7 upgrade kits on or after the official launch of Windows 7 on Oct. 22.
  • Customers can visit to check eligibility.Customers will be able to register for their free* Windows 7 upgrade kit through when we get closer to the Oct. 22 launch date
  • Microsoft has designed the upgrade program with consumers and small business customers in mind and will not allow more than 25 upgrade kits to be sent to any one address.

Overall we are looking forward to bringing Windows 7 to market on October 22nd. Early feedback from our customers and Dell engineering testing efforts is that Windows 7 on Dell clients is making everyday tasks faster and simpler for our customers.  Key pundits and analyst are also very bullish about the new operating system. Dell's engineering and services partnership with Microsoft will enable customers to deploy on day one when Windows 7 ships.

* Shipping and handling fees may apply

Update from Lionel: Since Daniel published this post about the Windows 7 upgrade program, I've gotten several questions from customers like jrporter40, kdsreferee and hartwilson about eligibility requirements.

The upgrade program is for customers who have ordered an eligible Dell system on or after June 26, 2009. The order date is one of three determining factors. System eligibility and operating system version are the other two. Eligible systems ordered between June 26 and December 31, 2009 qualify for the Windows 7 upgrade. If you qualify, then you need to register for the upgrade at

You'll need to enter your service tag number in the registration process. If you do not yet have a service tag number for an existing order, have further questions about the program or need to discuss your specific situation, please contact Customer Service.

Customers in the United States can call 1-800-624-9897. Customers outside the U.S. can do the following to find the correct phone number to call:

  • Go to
  • Choose your country or region from the drop-down list
  • Choose the Contact Us link
  • Choose Technical Support
  • Choose Call Technical Support

For Dell customers who have been running Vista for a while, Ars Technica and other sites have written about an option that's available to you. Microsoft recently rolled out a Windows 7 Pre-Order Offer that allows customers running Vista to purchase retail versions of the upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Professional for a discounted price.  See more details about the dates and countries that can take advantage of the Windows 7 pre-order at the bottom of this post from the Windows Team Blog.  

By the way, according to CNET's Ina Fried, the Windows 7 preorder has proved to be a pretty popular item on

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All comments are moderated. Unrelated comments or requests for service will not be published, nor will any content deemed inappropriate, including but not limited to promotional and offensive comments. Please post your technical questions in the Support Forums or for customer service and technical support contact Dell Support.
  • kdsreferee

    Thank you for the update.  Any word for those of us that just purchased a Dell Inspiron 537 in the last 10 days?


  • mysterious1der

    Thanks for the information – sounds great!

    Question: Does this apply to systems purchased from the Outlet?

  • jrporter40

    I ordered my laptop aware of the possibility of missing the free update program. but the cpu shipping date has been delayed.  Silly me, I even thought Dell was delaying the shipping date to ensure my system qualified under the Microsoft rules.  So I still wonder 1. how much longer will the delay last (6/22 delayed until to 7/6, so far )?  2, what constitutes a purchase – request/production/shipping/delievery/credit card debit??? 



  • hartwilson

    I'm in the same boat; my order was placed on June 22 but my system is currently not scheduled to ship until July 23. 

    I was just on the phone to customer support and they confirmed that I will NOT qualify for a free upgrade.

    Unfortunately, since my order status is "in production", I cannot simply cancel my order and rebook it. It appears my only option would be to return my system when I receive it (a month or so from now!), pay return shipping and (possibly) restocking fees, and place a new order. Needless to say, this would probably cost more than paying the retail price of a Windows 7 upgrade package. 🙁

    As a long-time (and, up to now, satisfied) Dell customer, I'm very disappointed in how Dell is handling this.

  • argvargc

    So far the policy is simple – you are in only if you purchase on/ after 26 June. That leaves you and me out. 🙁

    Dell should include everyone who ordered after 1 June 09.

  • kdsreferee

    It seems that a lot of us are in the same boat. 

    If we would have waited and purched thru a third party like Best Buy or Staples on the 26th which would mean purchasing a sytem that has been made much earlier so it is in the big box store we would be elgible for the upgrade.

    By buying direct online we did get the advantage of getting the features we wanted but lost out on neat upgrade to Window 7.  Keeping my fingers crossed that Dell will look after us repeat customers.


  • AmandaGal

    What about people who've purchased but not had their PC shipped by the 26th?

  • s177il3y

    If Dell does make it for everyone who ordered after June 1st 09 then someone else will say let's make it for after May 1st 09.  Dell is doing a great thing here but it never seems to be enough for people.

  • Dev Mgr

    What about those who bought their system on May 31st, May 30th, eth, or even 3 years ago?


    It seems Microsoft set the date for June 26th; if you buy your PC on or after that date you're elligable for the free upgrade. Dell, HP and the other major vendors all seem to offer this the day Microsoft allows it.


    What I'd like to know is what if you buy your PC at a retail outlet. The ship/order date in Dell's system will pre-date June 26th. Do you have to provide your receipt from the store to prove you purchased it on or after the elligability date or is there a different way that that is determined?

    And what about buying at Best Buy? Dell warranty doesn't apply to those systems, but does the free Windows 7 upgrade apply to them?

  • DELL-Todd S

    Update from Lionel: I updated the middle part of Todd's answer below. Whether you purchase from Dell or Best Buy, all customers need to register through the upgrade site. More details below.

    Dev Mgr,

    FYI, Dell warranties do apply to systems purchased at Best Buy.  Well, at least Dell systems bought at Best Buy.  🙂

    Retail customers will use the upgrade website just like the direct customers.  Once a customer purchases their system in retail, they will need to register their service tag at



  • bbohnhoff

    Just my luck! Ordered on 6/25! System "in-Production" on 6/26!

    I tried my new Service Tag# in the Win 7 screen- not eligible.

    Dell should show some flexibility for a Studio XPS 435T ($$) IMHO.

  • jrporter40

    I tried the eligiblity list, but since I have not received a machine, I have no service tag to enter.  I would like to see a statement from Dell addressing their definition of purchase date.  It seems that until the product has been released (shipped) by the seller and payment buy the buyer, no actual purchase/sale is consumated. 



  • bgoodbody

    Comme on Dell be fair!

    1 I bought a Studio 17 (Deliverered 6/18), and it's not on the upgrade list? CAn't even ourder a new one with the upgrade!

    2. The list of "upgradeable machines is VERY limited.

    3. Extend the date back before 6/26, say June 1. Cover All machines sold since. Should be FREE, but a small charge is better than full price.

  • rmurphy762

    Daniel, With all due respect Dell was forced to embraced Vista when I purchased my original XPS in February 2009 ( I am on my 3rd one) At this point I am disgusted with Dell's policy toward Windows 7 (BUT I have great things to say about their technical support) Dell had NO hesitation to take my $3000. when I purchased my PC but if I don't buy the full version of Windows 7 from Dell the extra money I spent for technical support for 4 years will not include software support. If I am correct Microsoft will only support the OS for 90 days.    I do not believe in upgrading the OS, Vista is bad enough why would I want it to be the "foundation" for Windows 7? So I will be forced to buy the Windows 7 from Dell. It is ashame I think Dell has very good tech support I feel that the techs from Manila and the Philippines are very good. However, after having my personal XPS replaced 3 times I am tired of dealing with the delays (it took me over 6 weeks to get my last XPS), fighting over warranties and now being forced to buy the Windows 7 from Dell otherwise they won't support the OS. It used to be that Dell had a great product and they were willing to work with you now they are a sorry shell of a once great company. I am in the IT field and next time my company votes on who will be the supplier I will vote that we no longer buy from Dell. Thats pretty bad when you realize that HP is the biggest competitor which has less than a sterling reputation.

    Just wanted to add my two cents. For all you that have their orders in a pending status I would check the price if it is lower and it probably is cancel your orders and reorder. In this economic times companies should be helping the consumer. Dell certainly not keeping its jobs in the US. If the cost is higher keep on asking for a supervisor DO NOT be disrepectful to any person on the phones they have a difficult job just say you want a supervisor and keep on saying it to you get someone who will listen

  • hartwilson

    The first system I bought from Dell (in 1998) was a factory-refurb, with Windows 95 installed. Some weeks later, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a Windows 98 upgrade disc in the mail. This had been sent without me having requested it and completely without charge. I was impressed by a company that would do such a thing; I had purchased my PC knowing full well that it was refurbished and had planned to eventually buy my own copy of Windows 98.

    Skip forward eleven years and I'm now in a situation where if I want to upgrade to Windows 7 on a brand-new laptop (ordered June 22 but not shipping until July 23), I will either need to pay for the upgrade myself or return the system (eating the shipping and restocking fees) and order a new one. Times have definitely changed!

    As other posters have mentioned, I'm curious about the exact meaning of "purchase date". As of today, I have neither paid money to Dell nor received anything from them; does that constitute a purchase?

    I'm afraid this whole situation has left me with a vague feeling of unease; as a long-time satisfied customer, I had always (perhaps unrealistically) expected Dell to "do the right thing". This latest purchase was to be my fifth Dell system; it may well be the last one I buy from this company.

    Too bad.

  • Lionel_Menchaca

    The order date is one of three determining factors. System eligibility and operating system version are the other two. Eligible systems ordered between June 26 and December 31, 2009 qualify for the Windows 7 upgrade. If you qualify, then you need to register for the upgrade at

    We work with Microsoft to offer customers upgrades via this program. That means we have to work within the guidelines of the Windows 7 Upgrade Program itself. Take a look at the eligibility requirements to see what systems qualify for the upgrade.

    See my update to this post for more details.

  • pwald

    Thanks Lionel,

    I'm trying to purchase a laptop from the outlet for a friend. He wants windows 7 but needs the machine now. Do you know if an "eligible" machine (E6500) pruchased from the outlet would be able to get the upgrade if purchased after the 25th?

  • um_what

     To mirror other comments on this issue, Dells policy and how they are treating its customers is stupid.  If you ordered before the 26th the only way you can get this offer is to cancel your order and then place a new order.  BUT if you system is in a status of IN PRODUCTION you are unable to cancel the order so your only option is to return the system you ordered and place a new order.  Of course this means adding additional shipping and restocking fees.  THe most fustrating part is that most of the individuals that placed their orders shortly before the 26th are going to have a system that is IN PRODUCTION for many many weeks because it seems that Dell takes forever to build their systems. 

    I understand the argument that if they extend to June 1st then what about those that ordered on the 30th?  The part that I am having a hard time getting past are those that placed an order days prior and their system has not been shipped or even finished being built.  These are the people that Dell needs to look at and see what can be done.

    This and the fact that Customer Support is non-existent at Dell make me feel that this is my last purchase from them.

  • lucashale

    Hi Lionel,

    I know this has been asked but you say "ordered", the Eligibility at says "purchased", and the Microsoft site at says "Buy"

    Consumer law tends to be different from one country to the next. For me a purchase is not complete until the goods are ordered, paid for, AND delivered. At this point the transaction is complete (with statutory warranty).

    I took delivery of my Dell Studio 15 yesterday and am fully expecting that Dell will follow the consumer laws within my country but based on what you've said I'm guessing that when I enter my service tag I will be told that I'm out of luck. Is this going to be fixed on a country by country basis or will you (Dell) just correct it for everyone?


    P.S. This would have been a non issue if the 10-12 days delivery quoted on the website was met when I ordered the laptop on May 27th, but somehow it took you guys over a month to get it to me! When the online tracking stopped telling me when it was due I had to wait for 45 minutes on hold to be told that it was with a local courier. 3 business days later it was delivered.

  • um_what

    It is funny that you say that you "work with Microsoft to offer customers upgrades", making it sound as if it is Microsoft that is making the decision.  When I visited Microsoft's site they have the following information – "Participation in the Windows 7 Upgrade Option is decided by the PC manufacturers."  So please be honest with us and say that it is actually Dell that made the rules that you have linked to and not Microsoft.

  • Lionel_Menchaca

    pwald: Sorry for the delay… The Latitude E6500 is one of the eligible systems. As long as systems purchased from the Dell Outlet meet all the eligibility requirements (purchase date, system type and current operating system list), they are eligible for the Windows 7 upgrade.


  • pwald

    Excellent. Thanks for your help! I'm off to the outlet to start shopping

  • DELL-Todd S


    Every country has different consumer laws, thats what makes these announcements difficult to provide details for.  If you have questions about how the upgrade program is implemented in your country then I highly recommend that you contact Dell's Customer Care group in your country to discuss.  They can give you country specific information.  Like the original post states, this program is being implemented in 55 different countries around the world.

    @ um_what,

    Yes, we have the option whether to participate in the program or not, but we don't have the option to define the program.  If we want to provide this service to our customers, and we absolutely do, then we need to abide by the guidelines that Microsoft has set for it.  And honestly, I don't blame Microsoft.   Considering how many companies and customers they deal with they have to implement a strict cutoff line otherwise it would end up a complete mess and confusion.


    I believe that the systems are eligible no matter where they are purchased from but as Lionel stated I would recommend you contact Customer Care to confirm.  They'll be able to give you more details.

  • janek45
  • bladwa1

    Can one of the Dell staff answer why some (or many?) of the computer systems are not eligible? If it has Vista, Microsoft seems to say you should be able to get the upgrade. I waited for an upgrade program to to be introduced – now the Studio 17 does not appear to be eligible. Since I want a 17 inch screen, I may now decide to go to one of your competitors. Unless you have a better replacement coming soon in the same price range – I'm not ready to spend a lot more. On top of that, you seem to have increased prices by doing things like charging for different colour cases that a few months ago were listed at the same price.

    Thanks for getting back and explaining this to your customers.

  • DELL-Todd S


    I would recommend you call Customer Care to have them add you and your system to the list if it is eligible.  They have direct access to the forms and can let you know if there is a reason yours isn't eligible.


  • JinglemanMike

    I bought a Dell Studio 540 last Friday (July 3rd), I was given a Windows 7 upgrade leaflet and have tried to register at however, on entering my Service Tag it tells me "The system is not elligible" even though the model is listed in the drop down menu.

    Can anyone help on this matter, please?

    Many thanks

  • gm52031

    Hey, How about this purchased on the 26th direct from Dell.  Received it the 3rd of July.

    Fast service on that end.

    Studio XPS 435T

    Not eligible.  Contacted customer care.  They reviewed the order and it is eligible.

    Said I should try again as of the 8th no luck.


  • Jean2009

    I can't register for the Windows 7 upgrade because it says my system is not eligible.

    My hubby bought my Inspiron 1545 on 6/29/09 from Best Buy… I
    registered it online on  July 4th.   Spoke to Customer Service last 
    Thursday… they said the ship date and warranty start date would be changed
    to 6/29/09 within 48 hours….. still no joy….   the ship date  is
    still 2/28/09 (shipping date to BestBuy) and the warranty start date is
    5/29/09………. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  • Jean2009

    When I registered my laptop…. I definitely put the right date in…. 6/29/09

  • DELL-Todd S


    I don't know if Customer Care can process those over the weekend and they may have meant 2 business days.  I would give it another couple days and if you're still not able to call Care back directly at 1-800-624-9897.


  • Jean2009

    Thank you Todd.

  • Jean2009

    Thank you Todd

  • yellow65

    I purchased 2 Latitude E6400 laptops from the Dell Outlet recently. On June 29th I purchased a refurbished one for home use and on July 8 purchased a Previously Ordered New one for work.  Both systems had the "Free WIndows 7 upgrade" in the cart when I purchased them and the E6400 is listed on the Windows 7 upgrade list and they were both ordered after June 26.  Both systems come up as ineligible for the Windows 7 upgrade on the Dell website. I have sent 3 separate emails to Dell customer service asking why and to this date have received no response from Dell.  My past experience with Dell customer service was always excellent, my opinion is changing quickly.  Why are my new laptops coming up as ineligible?

  • yellow65

    Oh, forgot to mention both Latitude E6400 came with Vista Business (one had the XP downgrade), so they should both be eligible for Windows 7 Professional.

  • Hilmar

    somewhat related question. I see my system in the drop down menu on the win7 upgrade site. Does this mean there will be a BIOS upgrade for the same system (Studio XPS 435MT) that contains a new slic2.1 table in the future?

  • DELL-Todd S


    You may want to call Customer Care directly at the number listed above if the email support group hasn't been able to help you.  Since they were purchased from the Outlet the original sales date may be incorrectly attached to the system and Care can help get that resolved.


  • Jean2009

    Woooooooooooohooooooooooooooooo they have updated my warranty to
    6/29/09 – 6/29/2010 and I have registered for the Windows 7 Upgrade, it
    took nearly 3 weeks to accomplish this .   Thanks for all the
    information guys.

  • bladwa1

    Why is there still no response as to why the Studio 17 isn't eligible for the Windows 7 update? And now the Inspiron 17" is out and it doesn't seem eligible either? Why would anyone buy a computer that isn't eligible? Is there something wrong with the system architecture on these machines? I'd be interested but now I'm looking at  your competitors to get one this summer.


  • yellow65

    Thank you, I did call and it seems if you buy a computer from the Outlet Dell needs to manually change the sale date in the computer.  This should happen automatically within 21 days (or so they say).  Since the computer I ordered for home was ordered more than 21 days ago and the date hadn't been changed in the system, they manually changed it for me and I was able to upgrade to Windows 7.  My work computer was not quite 21 days — it is today so if it still shows ineligible tomorrow, I need to call them back again.

    So, long story short, computers purchased from Dell Outlet are in fact eligible for Windows 7 if they meet all of the other criteria.

  • craigaa

    Can anyone inform me how to do the change of owership thing for a Notebook bought in South Africa?

    Then retail form does not work for anyone outside the US and the standard change of ownership form cannot be completed.

    I have an issue whereby the notebook was bought on 23 July, but the warranty info shows a significantly earlier date.

    My concerns are a loss of warranty period and the Windows 7 upgrade, unless the date of purchase is amended, this will not be possible.

    Customer care in ZA are adamant that the purchase date is when the notebook was shipped to the distributor and show no interest in correcting this.


  • DELL-Todd S


    You can use the International Ownership Transfer Form to register that system in South Africa, or to change the ownership that it is listed under.

    The warranty information will show the original shipping date but (at least with retail systems in the US) there is a leeway on the warranty expiration date.


  • craigaa

    Hi Todd,

    I found that form earlier and I cannot actually use it as desired. ZA Customer Care say that the form is really only intended for use if I sell the machine to someone else, and it will change the purchase date of the notebook, which is crucial for both the warranty and the Windows 7 upgrade.

    If I was guaranteed that if it did work, I would go to the effort to get the correct distributor name and email address which is required by the form. The form does not also support the notebook in question, a Studio.

    What Dell is missing, I believe, is a mechanism for people who purchase a product at a retail store, to register the notebook as their own, thus setting the correct warranty start period in particular.

    Right now I would settle for the US Retail Ownership Transfer Form being amended to support international users.

    Kindest Regards

    Craig A.

  • craigaa

    Hi Todd,

    My apologies, typo…

    I found that form earlier and I cannot actually use
    it as desired. ZA Customer Care say that the form is really only
    intended for use if I sell the machine to someone else, and it will not
    change the purchase date of the notebook, which is crucial for both the
    warranty and the Windows 7 upgrade.

  • DELL-Todd S

    Hi Craig,

    Actually, from what I understand (and my experiences are with the retail outlets in the US so I can't really speak for elsewhere) the retail establishments are supposed to do the accounting / record keeping for Win7 upgrade program.    Logically, that makes sense.  We don't have any records or proof of transaction date to provide to Microsoft since your transaction wasn't with us directly.  I would think that the retail outlet you purchased it from would be handling the registration of the system.   Have you contacted them directly to discuss?  They should also be handling the Change of Ownership form when they sell the systems to you. (Actually, I believe they should have a different form / method to process the ownership change and not the generic one online.  I think, but I'm not all that knowledgeable about the various international retail sales programs)  Sounds like there is some miscommunication on the retail shop's end.   They may have already performed those actions but it hasn't been processed yet. 

    Of course, that doesn't really help you.   Why don't you PM me some more information about your order (service tag, your contact information, dates, etc) and I'll forward that to someone in Care that works in your part of the world.  I'll ask them to find out what is going on and contact you to discuss with more information.

    You can PM me by clicking on my username and selecting the option to send a message.


  • Barzini

    Hello all. I am eligible for the Windows 7 upgrade and have registered through the site without a problem. I just had a few queries, hopefully someone from Dell can answer for me;

    1. When do you expect to ship the W7 upgrades to UK customers? Will it be on launch date (Oct-22)?

    2. How much do you expect shipping and handling to cost to ship to UK?

    3. I have a Dell Desktop Studio 540, and I am aware that the hard drive is partitioned into 2 drives – the main C:/ drive, and a 'Recovery' D:/ drive where all the data is stored to do a recovery to factory defaults if necessary. How will installing Windows 7 affect this recovery drive? If, for example, I experienced problems and wanted to wipe my computer and restore it to it's factory settings, would it return back to Windows vista, requiring me to re-install Windows 7?

    Many thanks for your help.