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Amazon Taking Pre-Orders For Microsoft Vista

Denver — quietly started taking pre-orders in mid-August for Microsoft’s much delayed Vista operating system.

The OS is being listed at $229 for the full-blown Premium Home version after a $30 instant rebate, while the Vista upgrade SKU is priced at $159.

Amazon did not report how many pre-orders have been taken.

Microsoft has not specified a ship date for the software only stating it should become available January or February so Amazon is tentatively stating it will ship on Jan. 30, 2007. This date is not firm said Cindy Ruppenthal, Amazon’s divisional merchandise manager for consumer electronics. She did not say how many orders have been taken.

Microsoft originally announced that Vista would ship in time for the holiday selling season, but last March the company recanted and pushed the date to early 2007 stating it needed more time to get it ready for consumers. The business version of the OS is expected to become available this fall.

There has been some retail blowback caused by the delay. Steve Baker, industry analysis VP, said sales of Microsoft’s XP operating system are down 30 percent, which he attributed to people waiting for Vista. Ruppenthal does not expect the delay to cause any major problems this year since those most interested in buying Vista-equipped PCs will still make their purchase, but just at a later date.