Microsoft announced yesterday it will help holiday-season sales by providing consumers with discounts for Windows Vista, in some cases even up to 100 percent of the upgrade cost:
The upgrade-assist program, which begins Thursday, is meant to bolster PC sales during the critical holiday period despite the discouraging absence of the long-delayed Vista.
Windows director Kevin Kutz said major computer makers such as Dell, Gateway and Sony are free to set the discounts themselves, while Microsoft will manage the discount program for the smaller computer makers known as system builders.
Until early spring, Vista -- five years in the making -- was due for release by the holidays. But on March 21, Microsoft delayed it for further testing, much to the disappointment of computer makers and retailers.
Microsoft said the upgrade-assistance program, covering both Windows Vista and Office, will cost it about $1.5 billion in sales in the current quarter.