Microsoft plans free Vista upgrades

By , on
Microsoft plans free Vista upgrades

Microsoft later this month plans to roll out an Express Upgrade program that gives buyers of Windows XP-based PCs a coupon for a free or discounted upgrade to Windows Vista through March 15.

Microsoft later this month plans to roll out an Express Upgrade program that gives buyers of Windows XP-based PCs a coupon for a free or discounted upgrade to Windows Vista through 15 March.

As part of the deal, designed to drive PC sales though the holiday season, Microsoft will include coupons in each Windows XP SKU that will entitle users to a free or discounted Vista upgrade when the next-generation operating system ships in the first quarter of 2007, industry sources said.

For instance, customers who buy PCs equipped with Windows XP Pro, Windows XP Pro Tablet PC Edition and Windows XP Pro x64 Edition are entitled to a free upgrade to Vista, sources said. Customers will be responsible for fulfilment costs.

Not all of the coupons will be for free upgrades. Customers who buy systems running Windows XP Home Edition can upgrade to Vista Home Basic Edition for a flat US$49 fee and to the higher-end Windows Vista Home Premium Edition for a cost of US$79.

The Windows Vista Technology Upgrade Program runs from October 26, 2006, through 15 March, 2007.

Distributors are expected to have the new SKUs in house for system builders by 15 October. News of the planned coupon and promotion emerged in June.

System builders must meet certain requirement to sell the new SKUs of Windows XP. The Technology Upgrade Program, for example, states that only systems running Windows XP that meet Windows Vista requirements will be eligible for the Express Upgrade, sources said.

Each of the new SKUs will ship with an amended system builder license that requires PC makers to ship the coupons only with complying systems. System builders also must agree to support the systems after the user upgrades to Vista.

Microsoft would neither confirm nor deny that a coupon program is in the offing.

“We are talking with all of our partners about plans for an offer. But those discussions are ongoing, and we have nothing more to share at this time," a Microsoft spokesperson said.

Tags:

Most Read Articles

Log In

Username:
Password:
|  Forgot your password?