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Microsoft Gives the Gift of Vista

Microsoft Gives the Gift of Vista

On Tuesday, Microsoft announced incentives that it hopes will keep customers buying Windows-based PCs during the 2006 holiday selling season, even though Windows Vista won't ship until January. According to Microsoft, consumers who purchase new PCs preinstalled with Windows XP between October 26, 2006 and March 15, 2007 will be eligible for free or discounted versions of Windows Vista. A similar program is in place for Office 2007 as well.

"Our customers can shop for a new PC with confidence this holiday season because of the Express Upgrade to Windows Vista and Office Technology Guarantee programs," says Microsoft corporate vice president Mike Sievert. "These programs ensure people will have a great experience with their Windows XP-based PCs today, and an even better one when Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office release become available."

The Windows Vista Express Upgrade program is available to PC makers and system builders, and customers who wish to take advantage of this offer will need to ensure that the PC they're buying offers the upgrade through the manufacturer. Confusingly, the offers will vary from country to country. More confusingly, PC makers can set the terms of the upgrade, so the offers will also vary from company to company. Microsoft says only that the Vista upgrade can be offered for "free or at a discounted price (shipping and handling charges may also apply)."

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