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.NET News: Microsoft, Industry Partners Offer Early Holiday Gifts to PC Buyers Around the World

To Provide Holiday PC Buyers with Low-Cost Upgrades to Windows Vista and the 2007

Microsoft has announced programs to provide holiday shoppers with low-cost upgrades to Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office release with the purchase of a new Windows Vista Capable personal computer. Microsoft is working with participating computer manufacturers and system builders that plan to sell PCs loaded with Windows XP or pre-installed with 2003 Microsoft Office software to make the Express Upgrade to Windows Vista and Microsoft Office Technology Guarantee programs available to consumers and small businesses from Oct. 26, 2006, through March 15, 2007.

“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,” said Mike Sievert, corporate vice president of Windows Client Marketing at Microsoft. “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.”

A number of computer manufacturers worldwide have confirmed plans to participate in the Express Upgrade to Windows Vista program. PCs carrying the Windows Vista Capable logo may be eligible for the program, but upgrade offers will vary among PC makers. The upgrade to Windows Vista may be offered for free or at a discounted price (shipping and handling charges may also apply), and customers should check with PC makers for their specific offers.

Microsoft will be working with participating smaller PC makers, known as system builders, to provide customers with upgrade discount coupons for Windows Vista with the purchase of a qualifying Windows Vista Capable PC. The offer will vary by region, but in the U.S. upgrades from Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 to Windows Vista Home Premium, and upgrades from Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition to Windows Vista Business and Windows Vista Business 64, will be offered for a nominal fee. Upgrades from Windows XP Home Edition to Windows Vista Home Basic and to Windows Vista Home Premium will be offered at a 50 percent discount from the boxed product upgrade price, plus the cost of shipping and handling.

Microsoft will also enable customers to upgrade to comparable editions of the 2007 Microsoft Office release when they purchase PCs pre-installed with qualifying Microsoft Office 2003 software. For Microsoft Office purchases made through participating computer manufacturers in qualifying locations, customers will receive upgrades to comparable 2007 Microsoft Office release products for the cost of shipping and handling when the product becomes available. For purchases of Microsoft Office through a system builder, customers will need to provide valid proof of purchase and cover shipping and handling costs associated with the upgrade. Customers in North America will receive a coupon with the purchase that must also be submitted.

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.NETDJ News Desk monitors Microsoft .NET and its related technologies, including Silverlight, to present IT professionals with news, updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards, and insight.

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