The free Windows 7 upgrades that Microsoft has promised buyers of new PCs powered by Vista are not always free, a consumer watchdog Web site says.
"To me, whether it's $12.99 or $17.03, the charges are all outrageous," said Edgar Dworsky, the editor of Consumerworld.org and Mouseprint.org. "It's just a single disc they're sending, and with media mail rates, it costs just over a dollar to mail."
Microsoft kicked off a marketing campaign dubbed "Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program" which gives people who buy a PC equipped with Windows Vista Home Premium, Business or Ultimate a free or nearly free upgrade to Windows 7. While some computer makers are giving away Windows 7 upgrades, others are charging fees as high as $17 for what's characterized as "shipping, handling, and fulfillment fees."