MS to Offer Free, Discounted Vista

Microsoft is set to offer either free or discounted Vista upgrades to those who purchase new computers during the holiday season, press reports indicate. To qualify for the coupons, a PC would need to be purchased after October 28 of this year, and the upgrade would be good through March 15, 2007.

The Redmond company would not confirm the program publicly, other than saying "we're working with partners on this." Reports indicate that the free or discounted upgrade would be based on the version of operarting system installed.


For example, those who have Widows XP Professional, XP Tablet PC Edition, and XP x64 Edition would be entitled to the free upgrade. Those using Windows XP Home would be permitted to upgrade to Vista Basic for $49 and Premium for $79. No upgrade price was specified for Media Center Edition.

"I like this move on Microsoft's part, even though they haven't confirmed it. It should help boost holiday sales of computers," Microsoft MVP Terri Straton wrote for The Hive. " People will be able to buy Vista-ready computers confidently, knowing that they won't have to pay full price to upgrade when Vista is released."

Windows Vista continues to progress towards a release to manufacturing, possibly as early as next month. Microsoft will make available Release Candidate 2, numbered build 5744, of Vista on Friday to testers and select CPP participants.

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