Its not entirely free, you have to pay a "handling charge" (set by vendor), i paid HP £21.99, but its a good deal i reckon, and worth knowing of, unless you were already aware. A bit of info here, click here i hope this info may be be of use to someone.
I too bought my laptop in August 09 from P.C. world, my package said with FREE wndows 7 then When I had paid was told to just bring the laptop back when win 7 was released and they would install this for me for FREE. what rubbish and very misleading. Went back today and was told to order online and would have to pay a small p.p I did not expect £21.99. what a rip off evan if it is a good deal when they say free I expect Free. Someone is making a profit certainly not my pension how many others have been mislead? Its so annoying when you go to the store and see the selves filled with them, why not just give us one of those?
I had my laptop bought for me, and so was not aware that i might get "free" W7 copy, so i guess i see it as a bonus, even at £22, but i really do see your point, i'd be checking the samll print, if you got it in writing.
I know it's technically 'not free' but a Windows disc, even upgrade, for 22 squids is a good deal. Use a search engine and find out how an 'upgrade' Windows 7 can be installed on a formatted harddrive. This time around I think Microsoft have had a bit of a shock at how popular their software is. At the pre-order price they have been overwhelmed with orders. Possibly their accountants might take a few notes of this and might suggest a better recommended retail price. Might kick piracy (which you, and I, pay for by being honest) in the teeth.
The charges people are paying seem only to be from the companies they bought their pc/laptop from (with vista pre-installed)...these companies(hp,packard bell, dell etc) must have had Microsoft to build manufacturer specific versions of windows 7 for each particular model of comp/laptop etc... Hence- the charges.
In my case i bought a copy of vista (with the windows seven upgrade offer) for my self built machine, and so when windows seven was released, it was just a matter of logging onto the MS website and applying for the windows seven upgrade disc which i wasnt charged a penny for- not even p+p.
Excellent customer service from Microsoft i must say.
The 'Free' Windows 7 promotion was devised by Microsoft so that sales of computers wouldn't fall during the build up to the release of Windows 7. Had this not been in place, many people would have delayed buying new gear until Windows 7 was released, but instead thought that they were in effect getting a new PC with Windows 7, but a little earlier than the release date. Bearing this in mind, charging for new software is inexcusable. Saying that the charge is for shipping is a red herring too, as the real cost would be less than £1