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August 21, 2006

Latest Vista upgrade coupon buzz

Posted by David Hunter at 9:57 AM ET.

Microsoft is holding a big internal meeting in Taiwan that is notable for the large number of employees from the People’s Republic of China that were allowed to attend, but the press was also fishing for quotes resulting in stories like Microsoft sees no further delay for release of Vista platform. More enlightening however, was this Bloomberg news report from James Peng:

Microsoft Corp., the world’s largest software maker, said it will ask personal computer makers to offer incentives to customers buying PCs for upgrades of its Windows Vista operating system.

“We’ll encourage our partners to provide incentives to promote the sales,” Alex Huang, regional director of Greater China for Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft, told reporters in Taipei today. “Each partner will have their own strategy.” He declined to elaborate.

Hmm, not much there either. The Taiwanese coupon rumor from earlier this month was also mentioned, plus this:

Last week, the Apple Daily reported Microsoft asked computer makers including Acer Inc. to pay $5 to $7 for each upgrade of consumers’ operating systems to Vista, citing Scott Lin, who oversees Acer’s Taiwan operations. Acer, the world’s fourth- biggest PC maker, will take part in the program, the Taipei-based Chinese-language newspaper reported on Aug. 18, citing Lin.

Now 5 bucks doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is to vendors in the low margin PC business. Unfortunately, some of the juicier aspects aren’t covered like who delivers the upgrade (Microsoft or vendor), what versions of XP and Vista are covered, how the upgrade is delivered (download or CD/DVD), and who gets to support the customers whose upgrade experience turns out to be less than salutary. This could end up costing the OEMs considerably more than $5 to $7, but maybe that’s better than slow sales during the fourth quarter.

Filed under General Business, Marketing, Microsoft, OS - Client, Partner Program, Windows Vista

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