Microsoft To Offer Free Vista Upgrade
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Microsoft has teamed up with PC vendors to promote the delayed Vista OS by offering PC buyers worldwide a free upgrade coupon, as a way of encouraging them to buy a Vista-capable PC as early as possible, according to market sources, citing information leaked from Taiwan-based PC makers.

With the coupon offer to kick off in October, prospective buyers who have planned to purchase a Vista-enabled PC in the first quarter of 2007 when the new OS is launched, will be encouraged to take up a Vista-capable PC in advance, the sources asserted.

Ray Chen, president of Compal Electronics, confirmed the coupon offer at a company investor conference held yesterday, stating that the free upgrade coupon, together with the availability of Intel’s 64-bit-enabled Merom processors, will help boost demand for new PCs in the fourth quarter of this year as well as in the first quarter of 2007.

Microsoft actually reached such an agreement with PC vendors in July, but decided not to unveil the plan until the fourth quarter, so as not to affect PC sales in the third quarter, the source noted.

The leak of the coupon-offering plan indicates that Microsoft may launch the Vista OS in January 2007, in line with its revised schedule, the sources said. However, PC sales worldwide now might now be affected by the plan, they cautioned.