Buyer beware: you may not get the free Windows 7 upgrade if you buy a Vista-based computer now. The upgrade program is real, but you have to be careful with what you’re buying, especially now that back-to-school campaigns have started.
15.4” Lenovo with Intel Dual Core, 2GB memory ..etc for $399 sure sounds like a sizzling hot deal – but there’s a catch: it comes with Windows Vista Home Basic, which is not eligible for the free Windows 7 upgrade.
We’re conditioned to focus on hardware specs when buying computers, and got used to that the OS just worked – that’s no longer the case. And don’t for a minute think you have to be careful with rock-bottom specials only: while a year or so ago Vista Home Premium was the de facto standard on consumer PC’s, more and more manufacturers offer Vista Basic now, with an option to upgrade to Home Premium. See examples from Dell and Lenovo:
Dell (and HP) charges $30 for Home Premium, Lenovo $49 (incidentally the ransom I paid to escape from Vista-prison).