Microsoft is offering free or low-cost upgrades to Windows Vista to users who buy a PC loaded with Windows XP before the launch of the Vista operating system.
Large companies are set to be offered Vista next month, but most users will not be able to get it until next January at the earliest.
A Microsoft upgrade is also being made to purchasers of PCs pre-loaded with the Microsoft Office 2003 collaboration suite. These users, along with those buying the standalone software, will be offered coupons entitling them to discounted or free upgrades to Office 2007, when it is available.
When Microsoft announced delays to Vista, there were fears that sales in the PC channel could dip, particularly in the run up to Christmas. By working with PC manufacturers on the promotions, Microsoft hopes to alleviate any sales impact from the Vista delay, which also led to a delay in the launch of Office 2007.
The promotion applies to Vista-capable PCs bought from today (26 October) until 15 March 2007.
PCs carrying the Windows Vista Capable logo are eligible for the programme, but upgrade offers will vary among PC makers. For more information, users can visit