Windows 7 has been designed specifically to be compatible with Vista so computer sellers who have a stock of machines pre-loaded with Vista will not have to upgrade the computers. Customers who buy a new PC with Vista on will be offered an upgrade to Windows 7.
Microsoft are hoping that this will draw a line under Vista which was released 3 years ago and met with negative press and general disapproval
Speaking at the Computex 2009 trade show in Taipei, Microsoft's Steve Guggenheimer said "We've received great feedback from our partners who are looking forward to offering Windows 7 to their customers in time for the holidays."
Mr Guggenheimer confirmed Microsoft will make an upgrade option available, so PC makers and retail partners can offer customers the ability to purchase a Windows Vista-based PC and install Windows 7 when it is released. Thus avoiding a sales "no-man's land" where users put off purchasing their new PC because they know their operating system is soon to be superseded.
When Vista was launched many users expressed frustration that the operating system did not work with all types of existing hardware and peripherals, or programs used commonly on PCs. A Vista compatibility programme for hardware proved to be confusing and, in some cases, somewhat misleading.