New Tablet PC = Free Windows Vista Upgrade?

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“Free is For Me!”

Recent stories have circulated in the news that Microsoft plans to boost holiday PC sales by including a Windows Vista upgrade coupon “in the box” with new PCs. Details today however are starting to clarify exactly which purchases will qualify for a fully “free” Vista upgrade. In this sense, Tablet PC consumers look to be at an advantage!

According to industry sources, a Windows Vista Technology Upgrade Program is planned to begin on Oct. 26, 2006 and will entitle customers who purchase a new Tablet PC to a free upgrade to Windows Vista. The upgrade program is supposed to be available through March 15, 2007. Even more encouraging are the latest details surfacing that purchases of hardware preinstalled with Windows XP Tablet PC Edition and Windows XP Pro will qualify for the “free” Vista upgrade.

It is clear that if this is the actual plan, Microsoft is taking great care of its business customers. General consumers and home users are also supposed to enjoy benefits of the Upgrade Program, however this may very well be a “discount” off the purchase of the Vista OS, rather than a completely “free” license. New purchases of PC hardware preloaded with Windows XP Home Edition are likely to qualify for this upgrade discount. The amount of this discount has not been disclosed as of yet.

The new Windows Vista OS is scheduled to ship in the first quarter of 2007. Upgrading from Windows XP to the final retail version of Windows Vista is designed to be an easy process for end-users. Two upgrade options, an “in-place upgrade” and “clean install” give users a choice in upgrading from XP or Windows 2000 to suit their personal needs without the need to reinstall applications should that be an issue.

At this time, we do not have a documented confirmation that the Upgrade Program will roll out the exactly as illustrated here. More news is certain to surface in the days to come as the expected date of October 26th approaches. For more information on the actual Vista upgrade process, be sure to see the “GetReady” page (linked from the Windows Vista Home Page at Microsoft.com).



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