HP today announced it will offer the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system on consumer and business PCs beginning October 22.

To meet customers’ computing needs while protecting their investments, HP is participating in the Windows Upgrade Option Program to help customers transition easily to Windows 7. The program will enable customers who purchase qualifying HP PCs to enjoy the benefits of a new Windows-based PC immediately and receive a free upgrade to Windows 7 when it becomes available in October.

Customers who purchase an HP PC starting today may be eligible for the upgrade program. HP customers can visit www.hp.com/go/windows7upgrade to check for upgrade eligibility, register and get answers about their PCs and current operating systems. Following general availability of Windows 7 on October 22, qualifying customers will receive the Windows 7 upgrade and an upgrade utility disk(2) with a step-by-step guide for installation at their convenience.

To help simplify the Windows 7 upgrade process, the HP Upgrade Assistant will identify and pre-install most necessary drivers. The HP Support website will continue to be updated with drivers, allowing customers to easily update their PCs without the burden of researching and downloading drivers for graphic cards and attached peripheral hardware.

HP PCs with Windows Vista on the market today meet the hardware requirements to run the Windows 7 operating system. Customers can continue to purchase new PCs from HP with the confidence that they will run the Windows 7 operating system when it becomes available later this year.