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Microsoft Launches Vista Express

Redmond, Wash. — To help spur PC sales during the holiday selling season Microsoft has introduced the Windows Vista Express program.

Vista Express provides PC buyers with a free copy or reduced price on the upcoming Windows Vista operating system if they buy a computer between Oct. 26 and March 15, 2007. The amount charged for the upgrade will depend upon the computer manufacturer and the retailer.

To be eligible a consumer must buy a Vista-ready computer loaded with Windows XP or Windows Media Center Edition 2005 and logos on boxes and products stating Vista Premium Ready will indicate which models can operate the new OS. The customer will either go to a store to pick up the software or obtain it through the mail.

Gateway reported that all Vista ready Gateway and eMachines branded computers bought direct from the company during the allotted period will receive the new OS free. Hewlett-Packard will do the same. Customers who buy a computer with Windows XP will be upgraded to the Vista Basic, a scaled down version of the OS. Computers equipped with Windows Media Center Edition 2005 will get Vista Premium and businesses buying XP Pro will receive Vista Business, said an HP spokeswoman.

The industry had expressed concern about Vista’s impact on PC sales during the 2006 holiday season with some believing consumers in the market for a PC would delay their purchase until Vista is released.